HMO Appeals to Women’s Concerns

Cadwell Davis this week breaks new work for Foundation Health Services, a Woodland Hills, Calif.-based HMO network hoping to attract female consumers by appealing to personal issues and fears.
The ads, which will appear in New York, Arizona and California, also introduce the universal tagline, “Someone at your side.”
The rationale behind the effort comes from a study by Psychologics, a research firm, which suggests that women make most family healthcare decisions. Ads dealing head-on with issues such as breast cancer would appeal to females 18-49 years old, the study concluded.
“Women make the decisions about a health plan, even if [insurance] comes from the husband’s company,” said Frankie Cadwell, president of Cadwell Davis here.
In one of three 30-second spots, a woman gives herself a breast exam, obscured by a tinted shower door.
She finds nothing, but gains peace of mind.
“We wanted to show how simple [self-examination] was, very directly and right in front of you,” said Davis.
In other spots, women talk about services the HMO offers, such as mammograms and pregnancy tests.
Several regional shops handled advertising until the client consolidated at Cadwell in August 1997. Unlike previous efforts, the new spots do not show doctors or hospitals.
The client plans to spend $5-10 million on television, radio, print and outdoor ads in the fourth quarter. Horizon Media in New York will handle buying and planning chores.