Ad of the Day: BBDO’s First Humana Ads Show the Sweetest Side of Good Health

The future beckons for the boomers in these charming vignettes

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Last summer, Omnicom's BBDO scored a significant healthcare win by picking up lead creative duties for insurance provider Humana just a month after the client—which had been the world's fourth largest health insurance company—agreed to be acquired by Aetna for $37 billion. Analysts expect that deal to close later this year. 

"Start With Healthy," BBDO New York's first campaign for Humana, debuted Tuesday night. The TV spots demonstrate why the account is so important: The company that most effectively simplifies healthcare options for older Americans will be a big winner in the market moving forward. 

The first ad, "Birthday," tells the story of a man who gets exactly what he wants for his 67th—but only because he's been taking care of his health. 

The campaign marks an attempt by Humana to position itself as more than just a wellness company by demonstrating how it can directly improve the daily lives of its customers—via slice-of-life vignettes appealing to its core demographic of middle-aged and older Americans. 

"What sets this work apart is the focus on what better health through Humana enables our health plan members to accomplish," Mark Mathis, director of corporate communications, tells Adweek. "Humana understands that people, especially the boomer generation, want to grow, not fade, stay relevant, useful and influential." 

The next spot "Carnival" illustrates the challenges faced by a woman making the most of her golden years by traveling cross-country to spend time with her grandchildren (and trying to keep up with their ferris wheel hijinks).

As Mathis puts it, " 'Start with Healthy' reminds people what having health really means—the ability to take fuller advantage of the opportunities life brings you. The takeaway from these messages is that great things are ahead of you when your health is ready for them." 

He positions the campaign as part of a larger effort to raise awareness of the Humana brand and portray the company as a sort of life partner rather than a faceless bureaucratic behemoth. 

BBDO's work will include social, mobile, digital, broadcast, event, print and direct marketing efforts, with additional collateral rolling out throughout 2016. 


Client: Humana

Agency: BBDO New York

Jody Bilney: SVP, Chief Consumer Officer

Jennifer Bazante: Enterprise VP, Marketing

Jeff Stern: Director, Enterprise Marketing & Marketing Strategy

HT Thomas: Director, Brand Communications & Advertising

Sean Lilly: Marketing Strategy Consultant

Agency: BBDO New York

Chief Creative Officer, BBDO Worldwide: David Lubars

Chief Creative Officer, BBDO New York: Greg Hahn

Executive Creative Director: Tim Bayne

Creative Director: Mike Boulia

Writer/CD: Mandy Hoveyda

Art Director/CD: Jackie Leak

Executive Producer: Diane Hill

Senior Producer: Angela Narloch

Music Producer: Julia Millison

Business Manager: Claudia Emerson

Sr Account Director: Peter Mccallum

Account Director: Tim Vanderper

Account Manager: Cara Roberts

Account Executive: Daniela Saborio

Group Planning Director: Annemarie Norris

Group Planning Director: Katie Ryan

Production Company: The Corner Shop

Director: Ellen Kuras

Executive Producer: Anna Hashmi

Producer: Gustav Geldenhuys

Director Of Photography: Ellen Kuras

Editorial Company: Rock Paper Scissors

Executive Producer: Eve Kornblum

Producer: Jenny Greenfield

Editor: Ted Guard

Assistant Editor: JK Carrington

Telecine: Company3

Telecine Artist: Tom Poole

Producer: Clare Movshon

Conform/Finish: Method

Conform/VFX Artist: Chris Hunt

Executive Producer: Angela Lupo

Producer: Brad Wood

Audio Post: Sonic Union

Mix Engineer: Steve Rosen

Studio Director: Justine Cortale

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.