Niche Marketing: "Fly Baby Bird." Low Cost Plans. Check It.

How to get young people to sign up for something as stodgy as health insurance?

How about sponsoring a music festival and making your pitch via irreverent TV ads?

That's how the Washington [State] Health Benefit Exchange Board decided to solve the problem of reaching a niche audience that might not ordinarily see the merits of visiting an online marketplace where they can compare and enroll in health insurance plans.

Some folks aren't fans of the campaign. But I like it.

My favorite is the ad featuring Rian, a 26-year-old woman who no longer qualifies for insurance on her parents' plan.

But even a less deft ad, featuring an older couple with pre-existing conditions and $200,000 in medical debt, does a better job of explaining the advantages of having health insurance to young people than any other insurance ad I've ever seen. 

Will exposure to a silly fictional rap duo get people to visit

Will sponsoring a concert and making the URL prominent on its promotional materials really work? 

Who knows... 

But it's got to be at least as effective with the younger demographic as the oddly inappropriate Colorado ads that featured miscues with health consequences - like giving in to impulsive sexual attraction ("OMG, he's hot") and the urge to perform kegstands?

If young people fail to sign up in Washington, it won't be because the authorities didn't try...

"The Sasquatch! Launch Party presented by Washington Healthplanfinder on Feb. 3, 2014 was a chance to hear great bands, learn about new health coverage options and be the first to know the lineup for both weekends of the Sasquatch! Music Festival."

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