Medicare's Slices of Senior Life | Adweek Medicare's Slices of Senior Life | Adweek
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Medicare's Slices of Senior Life

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Actor Leslie Nielsen and his trademark brand of wacky humor are absent in a new round of TV spots for Medicare and Medicaid from Campbell-Ewald. Three spots from the Warren, Mich., agency that break this week instead take a sentimental approach to elder care.

In one commercial, a grandfather dances with his granddaughter on her wedding day after finding a doctor through Medicare who eased his arthritis. Another shows a grandmother playing hide-and-seek with her grandchildren. The idea here: Her daughter was able to find, with help from Medicare, a nursing home to care for her mother after surgery.

The last spot features an older woman and her granddaughter having an underwater tea party in a swimming pool. The voiceover says the woman has the money to travel and visit "her favorite mermaid" because she saved on prescriptions via Medicare.

The tagline is, "Helping you help yourself."

The shop won the $30 million creative and media account from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services last year, and its debut effort had Nielsen in a hospital gown bumbling about an exam ina tion room in classic Naked Gun style. Those ads were criticized by some who argued that they mocked the elderly. But the government said the campaign increased traffic to its Medicare hotline.

The tone was shifted in an effort to more clearly convey benefits information, said Steve Aiello, group man agement supervisor at the agency.

"These are warmer, more slice of life," said creative director Ste phan Pytel. "They still bring a smile to your face, but a different kind of smile.

"We wanted to show the depth of information you could get from Medicare, but we didn't want to lose touch with that quality of life that people gain when they make the right choices," said Pytel.

The TV campaign touts the Medicare site, www.medi care. gov, and toll-free information number.