HMO Adopts New Creative Style


Stone, August, Medrich Revamps The Wellness Plan’s Approach

By Tanya Gazdik

DETROIT–Stone, August, Medrich is set to break a campaign for longtime client The Wellness Plan, its first full ad effort under new creative director Jim Gentry and his team.
The new campaign includes print ads breaking Oct. 1 and radio and TV spots breaking Oct. 4, said Gentry, who joined the Troy, Mich., shop from crosstown rival McCann-Erickson about four months ago. Ads will appear first
in Detroit before reaching the client’s three other Michigan markets: Lansing, Muskegon and Flint.
The Detroit-based HMO is one of the agency’s largest clients, spending an estimated $4-6 million annually. BK&M, Ann Arbor, resigned CareChoices HMO, worth about $3.5 million, when it merged with Stone, August, Baker & Co. to form Stone, August, Medrich a year ago.
While the new campaign keeps the previous theme, “Live and be well,” the tone of the ads is notably different. The last effort, created before the merger, translated the “Live and be well” line into several different languages.
The new print ads are in black and white, with an artsy feel to them. Each features one person and minimal copy. One reads: “There are 206 bones in your body that work together in harmony. We think your health care plan should work just as well with you.”
The shop also designed a new logo for the client–the classic red apple, which the company was already using, encircled by the words “The Wellness Plan” and “Live and be well.” The red apple provides the print ads’ only splash of color.
The three 30-second TV spots also take a cleaner and simpler approach, showing vignettes of people in everyday situations. An original song, written by Gentry for the spots, has a local vocalist singing lyrics such as “We wish you peace, we wish you joy, we wish you harmony.”