Health + Wellness

Who Said a Chicken Cant Sell Health Insurance?

Defending Highmark’s membership from a large national competitor

Photograph of the crest of a blue hen.


There’s no place like HMO.

For decades, Highmark was the exclusive health insurance provider for State of Delaware employees. That changed when the state negotiated a deal to auto-enroll employees in a competitor’s HMO plan. With thousands of members at stake, we needed to convince people why they should choose Highmark.

Photograph of the "Welcome to Delaware" sign.


We bet on a bird.

Because our brand was born in the state, we knew something our competitor wouldn’t — just how fiercely loyal Delawareans are to the Blue Hen, their state bird. We bet that local pride could overcome outsider advantages, and set out to connect on an emotional level by tapping into their deep Blue Hen pride.

Photograph of a blue hen.

Meet the Blue Hen.

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

While direct mail was the ideal medium, the State of Delaware prohibited its use. That meant we had to tap into out-of-home, print, and digital. We even built a giant, 6-foot egg to help us take our message on the road.

Photograph of a blue hen billboard.
Photograph of two blue hen advertisements in magazines.
Click to play the blue hen "Fingers" television spot.
Click to play the blue hen "Laptop" television spot.
Click to play the blue hen "Spinning" television spot.
Click to play the blue hen "Hyper-Extended Wing" television spot.
Screenshot of a blue hen takeover ad on the Deleware Online website.


We kept the flock intact.

In just six weeks, our campaign helped Highmark achieve 97% of its total enrollment goal and exceed its member retention goal by 10%. The work was honored as a Grand Effie Finalist, and helped Highmark Health earn a spot as one of Effie Worldwide’s Top 10 Most Effective Marketers in North America.

Return on Investment
Members Retained
Total Enrollment Goal

Gold Effie
Healthcare Services

Bronze Effie
Small Budgets - Services

Grand Effie