Cossette Post Makes House Calls for HMO

NEW YORK Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is pulling the doctor’s bag out of storage in a branding campaign that plays upon nostalgia to illustrate its commitment to simplifying healthcare.

Three 15-second teaser spots by Cossette Post in New York began running this week. A dog, a construction worker and a beachcomber are each seen digging up a doctor’s bag from the ground with the theme line, “The bag is back.” The ads drive traffic to Horizon’s site,, where the HMO outlines its mission to simplify healthcare. All retain “Making healthcare work” as a tagline.

The bag is “an icon that communicates a time when healthcare was less complicated. We know that the issue of healthcare being complicated is something that concerns people,” said agency chairman and managing partner Frank Sampogna.

Sampogna said that focus groups showed that even younger consumers who have never experienced a house call understood the significance of the doctor’s bag. “They’ve seen it on old shows on TV,” he said. “Nostalgia is working very well against the younger audience.”

TV, print and radio ads will follow the teaser spots as part of the $4 million campaign, Sampogna said. The work will appear in New Jersey throughout the year, he said.

The repositioning is a departure from the client’s campaigns of the past several years, which have talked about specific plans and benefits, Sampogna said.