Enroll America and the Ad Council just released a new public service announcement encouraging people to enroll in Obamacare. It is awful.
The video features a domestic zoo of dogs, cats, birds and fish pretend singing an obnoxious song about why you should enroll today. "There's a plan for every budget, so don't accept defeat," the pets sing soulfully. "You can get covered and still buy me treats."
According to The Hill, the ad is aimed at uninsured young women, and obviously tries to capitalize on people's love of animals who think they're people. In reality, something this corny might appeal to that uninsured young woman's hip grandmother, who'll email her this video and ask her if she's insured. The "Enroll Today" ad campaign will appear on cable, Spanish-language channels and in New York's Times Square.
The risk that ads aimed at "the youth" face — besides being painfully uncool — are being easily mocked. The Colorado "brosurance" ads went viral mostly to be ridiculed by both the right and by the left. Then again, in an ad with so little substance, there's not much for conservatives to disagree with. Still, Shoshanna Weissman of Generation Opportunity (an anti-Obamacare group) and Red Alert Politics found one criticism:
That's not to say that all wannabe viral healthcare marketing is doomed. In December, Get Covered released an enrollment ad featuring Obama impersonator Iman Crosson — B-Rock O’Beezy — spoofing "Drop it Like it's Hot." It's catchy, and has lyrics like "So don’t stand and diddle, my healthcare’s the ‘shizzle’ / It’s chock full of top notch healthcare ‘provizzles’":
And even better, it's tuned in to what the kids are into these days. As Mediaite noted, Crosson is a viral star in his own right, and has taped several spoof videos promoting Obama. Get Covered realized he was cool and reached out. The Enroll America ad has a good goal — encouraging uninsured people to sign up for health care — but it's a sad attempt to turn a viral BuzzFeed cat listicle into a popular public service announcement. It fails.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.