Hemingway flash fiction influences latest Highmark health insurance campaign

Highmark Inc., the US’s fourth largest Blue Cross Blue Shield-affiliated health insurance provider, is launching a new campaign inspired by one of the 20th Century's most famous authors.

The campaign was motivated by the popular urban legend from renowned author Ernest Hemingway, when he bet a group of writers he could pen a novel in six words. He then created the narrative, “For sale: baby shoes, never worn” and collected his winnings.

The work introduces Highmark’s ‘Right Fit Guarantee,’ assuring members and prospective members the company will help them find the right Medicare plan tailored to their unique lives and needs.

Agency Partners + Napier brought the campaign to life through 60- and 30-second television spots, as well as pre-roll, print, freestanding inserts and more. Some of the six-word stories featured are: “Learned how less could be more,” featuring a retired couple sitting by a campfire outside their RV, relishing the night sky; “Went big. Fell hard. Got up,” showcasing a successful food truck chef who has found his second career; and “Ringleader of my very own circus,” depicting a grandmother baking up a storm, with grandkids adding to the fun.

“Medicare customers have a lot of life and experience behind them. We saw an opportunity for a new way of storytelling — to boil all that down to just six words and create powerful narratives based on Highmark’s current and prospective members,” said Michael Baron, executive creative director at Partners + Napier.

Added Chris Zdanowski-Pattison, director of strategic marketing at Highmark Health: “Every life story is as different as the person who is living it. So are their wants and needs, even when it comes to health insurance. That’s why we created the ‘Right Fit Guarantee.’ We want people to know that we will provide them with the right Medicare plan for their particular situation even as their health, finances and future needs evolve.”

The campaign, which is set to run throughout much of Pennsylvania, also points to a new URL, HighmarkRightFit.com – which is designed to help visitors make smart choices about Medicare.

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