I have my own opinions about Kaiser Permanente as a health care provider (a topic for another post in a different blog), but I felt this ad on Pandora was a great example of an online ad that is creative and engaging while ‘making sense’ in context. One of our basic goals is to go beyond the “click here for more info” model for online ads. This Kaiser ad rates high, in my book, on four fronts:

This ad for Kaiser Permanente highlights some basic principles for effective online advertising

  • The headline is strong. This is a traditional discipline that isn’t going anywhere. A good headline will engage the reader’s mind and imagination, creating an intellectual payoff. The Kaiser headline actually starts the playback of the “thighbone’s connected to the…” song in my head, tying in nicely to the musical context.
  • The overall theme reinforces their positioning. I’m still a bit cynical about Kaiser’s attempt to create the perception that they are investing not only in their customers’ medical care, but also in their overall well being, while combating poor fitness habits in the culture at large. But, over time, with consistent repetition of messages like these, they may actually succeed.
  • It just fits. At no point in my interaction with this promotion do I think “hmm, that’s a stretch”. In terms of how music relates to fitness, and fitness to well-being, Kaiser doesn’t overstep thematic boundaries, just because they felt the venue was right. Be cautious of forcing a concept that ultimately isn’t believable for your brand.
  • It promotes an extended engagement. We always want to maximize the amount of “face time” or interactivity we have with potential customers. The best promotions are crafted to accomplish this, through offering involvement in something useful or fun (such as a game or iPhone app). Having a sponsored radio station with a fitness theme is a huge win, because it is indeed useful and it continues to reinforce the ideological connection between being active and fit, and being a Kaiser patient.