Tierney Lowers Laughs for IBC

NEW YORK Independence Blue Cross takes a step away from the slapstick antics of its award-winning employee healthcare ads in a campaign breaking Monday that describes its community well-being programs.

Three 30-second TV spots, along with three 15-second variations, radio and print ads by Interpublic Group’s Tierney Communications carry “You deserve it. Everybody deserves it” as a tag. In one spot, two elderly gentlemen sit on a bench woefully discussing their good health. “At IBC, we’re doing more than ever to keep the people in our community healthy. So healthy, you’ll have to find something else to talk about,” a voiceover says. “I stubbed my toe the other day,” one man finally offers. “Did you bruise it?” the other asks. “Nah,” he moans. “It’s a shame.”

“The client loved where we were, but they wanted to talk about the good things that they do. They give a lot back to the community,” said Patrick Hardy, associate creative director and copywriter at the Philadelphia agency. “In lieu of going totally warm and fuzzy, there was a nice synergy between the hijinks [in the office pranks work] to the comedy of these ads.”

Other ads feature kids making mud pies (“Parents will have time to worry about other things than healthcare”) and a disorganized woman who runs in and out of her house remembering her forgotten dry cleaning, cat and keys (“You’ll have more time to focus on other things”). Onscreen copy highlights health coaches, flu shots, childhood obesity programs and other services offered through IBC, including contributions to nursing scholarships.

“There was a desire on the part of the company to increase awareness of what they are doing to impact the health of the community overall,” Hardy said.

Spots are slated to break this month in Philadelphia on sports and early morning broadcast TV shows, as well as on the Comedy Channel, Discovery Channel and FX, among other cable TV venues. Ads, art directed by Holly Fiss, will run through the end of the year, with IBC’s “office pranks” brand campaign resuming next year, said Erin Kuhls, executive vice president, director of account management at Tierney.