beautiful models standing in front of a booth. Colorado HealthOp hired four young, tightly dressed models to convince more people to sign up. At least there were two male and two female models, so even the ladies have some eye candy to enjoy while they ponder their health insurance options. And, let's face it, it's easier to decide whether you want a plan with a Health Savings Account when there's an attractive model walking you through the options.
States are faced with some demographic issues with the exchanges: they need more people to sign up, young people in particular, as they have lower health care costs. Sick people and old people are enrolling, as insurance provides a good deal for them. For the ACA to be effective, insurers need young people to enroll, too, hoping that they'll pay more into the system than they'll take out in health care costs. The Colorado HealthOp's campaign seems to fit in that vein of selling to young adults. The campaign's title is "Last Call", with the models handing out juice in shot glasses, and telling passersby that it's last call to buy insurance in ObamaCare.
When Someone Opts Out of ObamaCare, Everyone Takes a Shot
While Colorado HealthOp is only pretending to use alcohol to lure young adults to buy insurance, Americans for Prosperity, funded by the Koch brothers, is using actual booze to convince college students to not participate in the ACA. (It should be noted that the beer itself was "independently provided by student activists.") They've hosted a series of "Thirsty for Freedom" events, encouraging college students to not sign up for health coverage. Not to be outdone, Americans for Prosperity also hired models (cleverly titled "brand ambassadors"), brought an armada of Hummers, beer pong tables, and a guy in an impressively creepy Uncle Sam costume who, from the pictures, looks to be getting a little handsy with the female co-eds. Ignoring the weird costume and the humongous Hummers, Americans for Prosperity is leveraging beautiful women and free beer to "educate" college students about their healthcare options. Lord knows that would have been enough to convince me to skip out on health insurance in my undergrad days.
These events serve as another reminder that marketers are trying to influence our purchasing behavior, in nearly every aspect of our lives, around the clock. These advertising agencies have incomprehensible amounts of money behind them, with savvy executives dreaming up novel approaches for each campaign. And they have no problem using questionable methods to get you to alter your purchasing behavior. They'll use sex or booze or the ever-changing culture of cool, and tell you that their product will, finally, make you happy and popular. Of course, the real objective is separating you from your money. Regardless of how you feel about the ACA or any other issue, be wary of the seductive agents trying to change your mind and open your wallet. In our financial battle against the army of millions of corporations and their fleet of marketers, they are many, and we frugal are few. Be on guard.
*Photo is from sashafatcat at Flickr Creative Commons.