Celebrities To Jumpstart ACA Young Adult Enrollment With Laughs

February 26, 2014

Looking back at this year’s Super Bowl, a survey revealed that about 78% of people polled said they were more excited about the ads than the actual matchup between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks.

For good reason. Advertisers spend millions of dollars for a few seconds of the coveted airtime, so they try extra hard to make the ads distinctive. They often involve puppies or comically bad dance moves or both. What’s not to love?

But another type of ad has been hitting the airwaves lately: ads promoting enrollment in health insurance exchanges specifically targeted at the young uninsured.

“I don’t need those! Hah!” actress Aisha Tyler crows as she declines a set of football shoulder pads. The ad, created by humor site Funny or Die, then cuts ahead to Tyler being viciously tackled by a burly linebacker. (The actress was mercifully replaced by a stand-in mannequin for this particular shot.)

Best known for her role on the animated TV show Archer, Tyler plays out a series of scenarios — a neglected mouthguard, a snipped seatbelt and a discarded athletic cup — with all ending with Tyler crumbling to the ground as the result of some gruesome injury. The takeaway? “You never need health insurance… until you need it.”

This was just one in a series of new Funny or Die videos promoting enrollment in plans under the Affordable Care Act, following several others last year that featured Jennifer Hudson and Olivia Wilde.

Midway through last year, the creators of the Funny or Die website were approached (though notably not paid) by the Obama administration to create a series of videos aimed at encouraging young adult enrollment.

Enrollment for the coveted “young invincibles,” a demographic of uninsured individuals aged 18-34, stands at approximately 27% of the total enrollment as of the most recent numbers. This compares to administration targets of 40% for this demographic.

Connecting with young people through funny, bite-sized videos was a savvy move and hopefully it will boost enrollment closer to targets.

Check out this video in the series featuring the tagline “Everybody falls.” Pardon the pun, but this one hammers the point home about the benefits of health insurance.

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