Waylon Does Its Part For Aetna

Real people whose maladies have been successfully treated with a helping hand from Aetna/U.S. Healthcare are featured in a fall TV campaign from Waylon Ad in St. Louis, part of a three-pronged TV effort from Aetna Inc.
The Blue Bell, Pa., healthcare company suggests via the campaign’s tagline that it is “Raising the quality of healthcare in America.” The TV work takes a somber yet inspirational tone, as survivors of everything from brain tumors to heart surgery are seen following their recovery in a series of “real-life” vignettes. The ads suggest that several of the patients–including a woman who went to John Hopkins for heart surgery and a boy who was treated at the National Children’s Hospital for a “rare neurological infection”–were saved by the top-notch care provided though Aetna/U.S. Healthcare.
Spending on the campaign, which is expected to break the week of Sept. 21, was not disclosed. U.S. Healthcare spent $24 million in 1996, before its merger with Aetna Life and Casualty Co. Spending the following year was $16 million, according to Competitive Media Reporting. Sources close to the company have said total ad spending this year is expected to be almost double that.
Waylon Ad works for Aetna/U.S. Healthcare on a project basis. The client in July named McKinney & Silver in Raleigh, N.C., as its lead agency and said that shop will produce a spring campaign.
The Aetna/U.S. Healthcare ads follow a corporate branding campaign from Ammirati Puris Lintas in New York for parent company Aetna Inc. in Hartford, Conn. That work, which includes TV spots, broke last weekend and is tagged, “What matters most.”
A third leg in the effort will be new TV spots, also from APL, for Aetna Retirement Services. The tag is, “A plan to live well.”
The various campaigns are intended “to clarify the businesses we’re in,” said Joyce Oberdorf, a company representative.