KAISER: TV Ads Pitch HMO’s Strategy, Enhance Name
Kaiser Permanente launched "a $30 million national TV ad campaign" earlier this month in an effort to boost its image as "a doctor-driven" HMO, rather than "one driven by administrative bean counters." The health plan also hopes to create positive brand-name recognition for itself amid the recent hits it and the managed care industry as a whole have taken from regulators, consumers and politicians. The San Francisco Business Times reports that in the campaign, Kaiser Permanente will "distance itself from other health plans." The three TV spots, produced by New York-based Grey Advertising, present urgent medical situations followed by the question, "'What if?' to drive home the point that the Oakland-based health care organization doesn't require its doctors to seek approval from outside administrators for medical procedures or referrals." One spot shows a woman in labor while the narrator says, "What if there are complications?" The commercial ends, "Kaiser Permanente. In the hands of doctors." Vaughan Acton, Kaiser Permanente's vice president of brand management, said the campaign responds to public perceptions of the company and waning public trust of the industry. "Our research shows that consumers see Kaiser as a large, bureaucratic, for-profit corporation rather than the nonprofit, member-centric health care organization that it is," Acton said. "So we're trying to correct that misperception." The Business Times notes that Kaiser Permanente has more than 5.7 million California members and "ranks high in customer satisfaction surveys." The HMO recently finished first in a California Cooperative Healthcare Initiative poll conducted by the Pacific Business Group on Health (Feuerstein, 9/28).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.