In 2006, Massachusetts became the first state to adopt a law requiring nearly all residents to have health insurance. As part of this legislation, the state created an organization - the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority - to implement the law by creating new, more affordable insurance plans and to assist uninsured residents in finding a plan that is right for them. The Connector commissioned Weber Shandwick, Sawyer Miller Advertising and KRC Research in 2007 to develop an integrated communications campaign to raise awareness of the Connector, and drive traffic to the organization's Web site and call center.
KRC Research developed a multi-phase research program including qualitative research among uninsured residents and small business owners to explore attitudes toward health insurance and the new health care law, develop messages and evaluate television advertising concepts.
One-on-one interviews with uninsured residents and small business owners revealed views toward health insurance; awareness, knowledge and opinions of the new health care law; and effective messaging to generate positive feelings toward the new law and the plans and services offered by the Connector. Then, focus groups with uninsured residents assessed reactions to a series of television advertising concepts developed based on the findings of the in-depth interviews.
Research findings helped identify a compelling, credible message platform (health security) and advertising concepts (a testimonial style ad featuring "regular" people) that effectively drove traffic to the Connector. After the public relations and advertising were launched, visits to the Connector's Web site increased by 300%.