Making “good” a consumer value

Fallon Health

The Challenge

Recognizing a name, but not what it stands for

Recognizing a name, but not what it stands for

Early in 2021, Fallon Health made the bold strategic move to exit the commercial insurance marketplace almost entirely and focus on public insurance plans: its Medicaid and Medicare product offerings. For those who knew Fallon Health, the move was not surprising: as a non-profit health insurer and health care provider, with a long history of community engagement and service, they were doubling down in areas core to their identity. And since public insurance plans had become a growth market, one that Fallon Health had long exceled in, the business case was sound.

Beginning in January 2022, Fallon Health enlisted Argus to help publicize their change in strategy and improve their overall brand awareness. Our research showed, however, that such a significant shift required more than publicity; it called for a wholly new brand position that would establish Fallon Health’s uniqueness in a crowded Massachusetts public insurance marketplace, which included larger in-state brands and encroaching for-profit national brands. Moreover, while the organization had decent name recognition, few consumers were aware of Fallon’s recent decision to refocus – and worse, even fewer seemed to care. For its new strategy to have a real impact, consumers needed to understand the “why” behind it – and what made Fallon Health more than just another Medicare Advantage plan. As one team member put it: “I want people to understand that we’re for real… we’re not just saying these things. We’re different and we want to help.”

Services Provided:

  • Strategic Messaging
  • Design
  • Content
  • Social/Cause Marketing
  • Video/Photography

The Solution

Make the mission relevant to consumers

The obvious approach would have been to shine a spotlight on their mission and community engagement. Our research revealed, however, that mission plays a very limited role in consumer decisions about insurance. We tend to be self-interested, prioritizing value and customer experience – we want to know which insurance we can trust to deliver us the best care. How could we differentiate Fallon Health from its competitors and make it a more relevant choice among Massachusetts-based insurance and health care providers?

Our solution was to reframe Fallon Health’s purpose as consumer value by linking Fallon’s mission and community engagement to the quality of its services. The new position statement,  Non-profit, yes care, centered on the idea that it is because Fallon Health is a values-driven organization that they deliver extraordinary care to their customers. The advertising campaign, anchored by the tagline “Care. It’s what we believe in,” framed Fallon Health as an essential, consumer-centric voice in the health care conversation. Key to our approach was giving Fallon Health’s values a face: a whimsical character called “Care” that’s always ready to act on human kindness. Across TV, digital, social, print, out-of-home, and radio executions, “Care” represented Fallon Health’s promise to its customers – an abiding commitment to their well-being that goes further than what people expect from a health insurance company.

The Results

More than a campaign – a new brand position

The advertising campaign started its run early in the summer of 2022, and after only approximately 6 months in market, a new survey showed positive indicators that the campaign was garnering the attention of Fallon’s core consumer audiences in Massachusetts. The survey revealed marked improvements in unaided brand awareness and recall of Fallon Health advertising compared to pre-campaign benchmarks. The campaign has also served as a foundation for internal and external touchpoints well beyond advertising, with the “Care” character, campaign messaging, and art direction taking center stage on Fallon Health’s website and in other marketing communications – including at an employee Brand Open House, where the campaign was enthusiastically received as an authentic rallying cry for the company. In addition, the campaign won two 2022 Platinum MarCom Awards, one of the largest and most-respected global creative competitions honoring excellence in marketing and communication; and two awards at the New England Society for Healthcare Communications (NESHCo) Lamplighter awards. Most recently, the :30 second television spot titled ‘Care. It’s what we believe in,’ won an Emmy for best commercial at the 46th annual Boston/New England Chapter Emmy Awards.