New Aetna Advertising Campaign Satisfies Consumer Desire For Health Care And Retirement Information

Advertising designed to reposition brand following major restructuring of company

NEW YORK, NY, May 6, 1996 — As part of a major repositioning of the Aetna (NYSE: AET) brand, the company will launch a new national advertising campaign on May 6. Created by the New York office of Ammirati Puris Lintas, the campaign reflects Aetna’s recent restructuring and its new focus on two key areas of importance to consumers — health care and retirement.

In fact, the new campaign is really two complementary campaigns — one for Aetna Health Plans and one for Aetna Retirement Services — that were designed to work together to redefine the Aetna brand. The campaigns address what extensive research revealed to be of paramount importance to consumers: the need for information about the vital issues of health care and retirement.

“The recent sale of Aetna’s property/casualty insurance operations and the proposed merger with U.S. Healthcare reflect a new focus on our fast-growing health care and retirement services businesses,” said Roger Bolton, senior vice president of communications for Aetna. “Aetna’s goal is to be the leading provider of information, expert advice and products to help consumers live healthy, financially secure lives, and that is the message of our new advertising.

“The Aetna brand already stands for strength, reliability and trust,” Bolton said. “The advertising is designed to build on these attributes and also position Aetna as an innovative, knowledgeable and caring company working to keep people informed.”

Aetna Health Plans Ads Deliver “Informed Health”

“Informed Health”SM is the philosophy driving Aetna’s approach to health care, and is also the central theme of Aetna Health Plans’ new advertising campaign. The concept was derived from consumer segmentation research conducted by Aetna and Ammirati Puris Lintas that revealed that Aetna Health Plans’ target customers are actively involved with their health care, value the doctor/patient relationship, are discriminating in their health care choices and have a strong desire for information in order to make better health care decisions.

Each of the initial three 30-second television spots presents a situation related to health care and then offers Aetna’s solution. In each scenario, the solution is “informed health” — information that empowers the consumer to make better choices.

In one spot, a mother and daughter worriedly discuss dad’s upcoming bypass surgery. The daughter asks if the hospital does a lot of bypasses, to which the mother responds, “I don’t know. They must.” The scene is then literally rewound and replayed with a different ending that highlights Aetna’s National Cardiac Care Referral Program. This time, when the daughter asks if the hospital does many bypasses, the mother responds, confidently, “They’re really good. They did 460 last year.” A voiceover — “It’s Amazing What A Difference Information Can Make” — reinforces the concept of “informed health.”

In another execution, a couple sits in a hospital cafeteria discussing their son, who has made progress with his physical therapy and will return home soon. The husband asks, “But, are we ready to take care of him?” The wife responds with a doubtful expression. When this scene is rewound and replayed, a woman approaches the couple with the good news that she has tracked down information about home therapy and equipment. This ad highlights Aetna’s Nurse Case Manager program.

In a complementary national and local print campaign, the concept of “informed health” is demonstrated through information-packed ads that are designed to engage the reader.

One national ad, to debut in May and June consumer magazines, features a maze to conjure the frustration of navigating through a health care crisis without adequate information.

Another national print ad bears the headline, “There are a lot of questions you might ask a Nurse Case Manager. Like, ‘What’s a Nurse Case Manager?'” This illustrated ad underscores the Nurse Case Manager program that is part of “Informed Health” from Aetna.

A series of local print ads informs readers about Aetna’s various health information programs, such as immunizations, mammogram screenings, 24-hour nurse line, prenatal care and asthma management.

The print ads carry the tagline, “The More You Know The Better You Feel.”Р’В®

“We’ve learned that consumers have a strong need to be empowered with information in order to make better health care choices,” said Mary Herrmann, executive vice president, executive director of account services, Ammirati Puris Lintas. “The new television campaign for Aetna Health Plans takes a problem/solution approach to common health care issues to illustrate the positive difference that information can make. The print campaign takes this idea one step further and literally imparts useful information about critical health issues, outlining specific programs for prevention and wellness that Aetna members can access.”

(The proposed merger with U.S. Healthcare will not affect the Aetna Health Plans campaign, as both brands will be maintained with complementary positioning after the transaction closes.)

Aetna Retirement Services Ads Challenge Conventional View of Retirement

Aetna Retirement Services applied a similar consumer research process to that used by Aetna Health Plans.

The company’s brand positioning, as well as the advertising, is based on research which identified ideal prospects for Aetna Retirement Services, based on distinct psychographic profiles. The research revealed that the number-one financial goal among Aetna’s target group is saving for retirement. The tagline of the campaign — “Build for retirement. Manage for life.”SM — reflects the new consumer mindset which views retirement, not as an end, but as a time for new beginnings.

The research also revealed that consumers are seeking a company that can help provide the information they need to reach their retirement goals.

The 30-second television spots, which were successful in pilot market tests last winter, challenge conventional wisdom about retirement, using the element of surprise to depict retirement as a time to start anew.

In one spot, a husband and wife discuss someone who impulsively has changed careers and taken up painting in Paris. The viewer assumes that the couple is lamenting about their son, until the wife reminds her husband, “He is your dad,” and the scene cuts to a retirement-age man happily painting on the banks of the Seine.

In another execution, the viewer is surprised to learn that a sixty-something archaeologist is a “retired” lawyer, illuminating the growing trend of “retirees” continuing to work or pursue new interests.

In a parallel print campaign, irreverent headlines and engaging photos of middle-agers also debunk retirement stereotypes. The headline of one print ad is “Forget retirement — we’re talking about a second childhood. This time make sure you get a big allowance.” The ad features a photo of a middle-aged pair jumping exuberantly on a trampoline, against the backdrop of a New York City skyline.

“This advertising was created on a solid foundation of market research that revealed refreshing consumer attitudes about retirement,” said Herrmann. “The campaign resonated very well with consumers in the pilot markets.

“Our in-depth consumer segmentation study revealed that a growing number of Americans view retirement as a chance to explore major life changes, such as going back to school, switching careers or starting a business,” said Herrmann. “The advertising reflects these contemporary attitudes.”

Impact on the Aetna Brand

Aetna conducted research to determine the impact of the Aetna Retirement Services and Aetna Health Plans advertising campaigns on the Aetna brand overall.

“Consumers saw a natural link between retirement planning and health care, viewing good health as a prerequisite for a rewarding and satisfying retirement,” said Bolton. “They felt there was synergy between the Aetna Retirement Services and Aetna Health Plans messages.”

Aetna is one of the country’s largest insurance and financial services organizations, centered around three core businesses: Aetna Health Plans, Aetna Retirement Services and Aetna International. Aetna Health Plans is the country’s third largest health care organization, reaching more than 20 million Americans. Aetna Retirement Services markets a variety of retirement, investment and life insurance products to individuals, businesses and not-for-profit institutions, serving 1.5 million customers directly and through nearly 20,000 plan sponsors. Aetna International offers a variety of life insurance and financial services products and has more than 8.5 million customers in 10 countries.

Ammirati Puris Lintas is the world’s seventh largest agency, with 155 offices in 58 countries and 7,200 employees. Worldwide billings in 1995 were $5.6 billion.

For more information about Aetna Inc., please visit the company’s website at