Case Study

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware

For decades, Highmark was the exclusive health insurance provider for State of Delaware employees. But all that changed when the state negotiated a deal with a national competitor to offer their HMO plan. With thousands of members set to be auto-enrolled in the other plan, and only a more expensive PPO option to sell, we needed to convince state employees why they should stay with Highmark.

Pivot Point

Because our brand was born and raised in the state, we knew something our competitor wouldn’t — just how fiercely loyal Delawareans are to anything "Blue Hen," a reference to the beloved state bird.

Blue Hen
Kiss Me I'm a Blue Hen mug

A not-so-birdbrained insight

Building on our insight that local pride can overcome outsider advantages, we were able to connect with state employees on an emotional level by tapping into Delawareans’ deep Blue Hen pride.

Blue Meets Blue

In the work, the Highmark brand took on the personality of the Blue Hen to deliver our message of heritage, commitment, customer service, and of course, the value of our PPO plan.

Anything but direct

While direct mail was the ideal medium to target employees with our PPO message, the State of Delaware informed us that we were prohibited from doing so. That meant we had to tap into print, out-of-home, and digital.

Highmark Delaware Blue Hen print ad
Highmark Billboard | Serving Blue Hens For Over 80 Years. Highmark Billboard | No Referrals, No Ruffled Feathers.
Delaware Online takeover ad

The Egg Came Second

If we truly wanted to position ourselves as the state’s plan, we needed to have a presence at local events. So, we built a giant, 6-foot egg to help us take our message on the road and handed out mini, lip-balm-filled versions, too.

Hatched Here. Serving Blue Hens for over 80 years.
65K+ Members Retained
3x Return on Investment
97% Total Enrollment Goal

Results Worth Crowing About

In just six weeks, our Blue Hen campaign helped Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware achieve 97% of its total enrollment goal and exceed retention goals by 10%. Our feathered friend’s online videos were so popular with the locals, they were watched in full 522,500 times — resulting in a .03 cents cost-per-view. Plus the work helped Highmark Health be named one of the Top 10 Most Effective Marketers in North America. Not bad for a chicken selling health insurance.

Gold Effie Gold Effie Winner
Healthcare Services
Bronze Effie Bronze Effie Winner
Small Budgets - Services
Grand Effie Grand Effie Contender