BUPA performs ad strategy u-turn

BUPA is hoping to appeal to younger audiences with the launch of national ad campaign BUPA World.

The healthcare provider says the campaign marks a u-turn in ad strategy and admits previous work has been viewed as dull and unimaginative by consumers.

The campaign, which has been created by WCRS, will be backed by a multi-million pound spend. It breaks on national TV on Thursday with teaser executions appearing in the national press before.

In a move away from its traditional use of images of real people talking about their health issues, the campaign introduces three new characters to deliver messages about BUPA’s range of products and services.

The characters, represented by different coloured shapes, will appear in four separate executions promoting BUPA’s health checks, care homes, insurance and hospital facilities along with the broader BUPA brand.

The TV ads will also be supported by an extensive ambient and online campaign designed to promote discussion around healthcare, featuring a self-test viral “What shape are you?” questionnaire developed by MEME, part of the Engine group which also includes WCRS.

BUPA brand and planning director David Grint says the campaign marks a change in the way the health care company advertises. He says historically the company has changed advertising regularly but will be looking to build on the new creative over the longer term. There are plans to roll out further executions later this year.

Grint hopes the campaign will mark a move away from traditional healthcare advertising which is often viewed as “quite dull and unimaginative” by consumers.

He says: “Health is a very personal issue and ads that feature real people can only ever achieve limited empathy.

“Consumers identify with the characters more completely as the characters become the viewers’ own interpretation of their own personal needs.”

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