Cigna Intros ‘Feel Better’ Campaign

Amid rising unemployment rates and a healthcare crisis that’s bound to be top-of-mind for voters this fall, health insurance company Cigna has launched an ad campaign aimed at changing the way consumers perceive the brand and the overall healthcare system.

The effort kicks off today with a series of print ads running in The Wall Street Journal. One ad features a child hugging her mother happily, while another shows a mother and father playing with their children. Tagline: “It’s time to feel better.”

The ads direct consumers to Cigna’s new Web site,, where they can learn about what the company is doing to improve healthcare, including initiatives like stress management and child safety tips.

Derek Weiss, Cigna’s vp-healthcare strategy marketing, said the initiative underscores the company’s central mission: to become a health services company and “not an HMO or just another health insurer.” He added that health insurance companies are often defined by other players in their field, resulting in consumer cynicism.

The “It’s time to feel better” campaign marks several firsts for the company. For one, it’s the largest business-to-consumer advertising investment Cigna, which is based in Philadelphia, has made in 25 years, Weiss said. A previous campaign, “Help,” which ran six years ago, focused on product promotions, while its 1998 “Power of Caring” campaign centered on creating brand awareness through consumer support of a cause or entity.

Spending on Cigna’s new campaign was not disclosed, though Weiss said it cost several million dollars and represents an even split between print and television. Cigna spent $700,000 on advertising (excluding online) in 2007, down from $16.7 million in 2006, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. The company spent $200,000 though April of this year.

TV spots will roll out nationally in late fall and no later than early 2009, said Howard Sherman, president of Doremus, New York, Cigna