Colorado’s Keg-Stand Ad for Obamacare Is Probably the Dumbest in the Nation

But will the bro campaign work?

Hey, bro … what's a deductible?

The Colorado Consumer Health Initiative and ProgressNow Colorado Education target young adults, including the oft-maligned and frequently wasted "bro" segment, in a series of shareable Web ads that milk the theme "Got insurance?" to promote access to Obromacare Obamacare.

The most outrageous ad in the bunch is "Brosurance," which shows "Rob, Zack and Sam—bros for life," in all their beer-fueled frat-house glory. Copy begins: "Keg stands are crazy. Not having insurance is crazier. Don't tap into your beer money to cover those medical bills. We got it covered." Zach and Sam also appear in an execution headlined "Club Med," which reads, "Yo Mom, do I got insurance? My girlfriend broke my heart, so me and the bros went golfing. Then my buddy broke my head. Good thing my mom made sure I got insurance."

The rest of the campaign is more conventional. One ad shows a very-expectant young woman "about to pop," while others feature a young mom with her daughter, a guy who was injured in a bicycle crash, a kayaker and a mountain climber. All ads use the #GotInsurance hashtag and point to for more information about signing up for Obamacare.

"We were trying to connect with young adults, and we thought, 'What are things that might connect with college-age folks?'" says Adam Fox, director of engagement for Colorado Consumer Health.

Some have blasted the "Brosurance" and "Club Med" ads as offensive, condescending or simply vapid, lamenting the party imagery and grotesque grammar. Others question whether targeting college-age people is wise, since the Affordable Care Act extends dependent coverage to adult children 26 and younger. That latter complaint seems mean-spirited, since not everyone that age has living parents, and even if they do, many young people, for various reasons, must insure themselves.

Moreover, the work is mildly controversial at best, and I think the nation's psyche is strong enough to withstand a little bro-needling for a good cause. The campaign is getting lots of media attention, which was clearly its aim, and hopefully that will lead the target audience to at least think about healthcare, however fleetingly, between rounds of golf and beer.

More shareable "Got insurance?" ads are on the way in coming weeks. And though she's not from Colorado, I'd like to propose Shelby Herring as the ideal spokesperson for this demographic. Having fun … that's her policy!

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