Double feature draws seniors for insurance provider

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Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of their lives, seniors will have 45 days to change their Medicare plans.

Humana, a health insurance provider, began a movie campaign this month featuring "Casablanca" to better inform seniors about their Medicare options. Seniors could make changes to their plans beginning Nov. 15.

"As we go into our open roaming period, seniors have to make decisions about what plan they want for next year," said Bruce Feinstein, director of marketing for Humana, Louisville, KY. "This year there are more competitors, so we wanted to differentiate ourselves."

Humana's program, called CineMeetings, aims to educate current and potential customers on important Medicare changes in 2007. The effort featured a free screening of "Casablanca" at cinemas nationwide as well as an informational film from Humana. This was the first time that "Casablanca" had been seen nationally in cinemas in more than 60 years.

"We worked with [cinema marketing firm] CineMedia and studios in Hollywood to see what they would recommend, and they gave us permission to show 'Casablanca,' " Mr. Feinstein said.

The Humana video features testimonials from current Humana members. An example was the SilverSneakers fitness program, which provides a free gym membership and exercise classes tailored to seniors and their age group.

"Our whole philosophy is beyond just giving premium co-pays," Mr. Feinstein said.

The film also featured clips with Humana CEO Mike McCallister, discussing Humana's longevity in the program. The film did not seek any direct response from viewers. Humana tracked response rates from the airing of the film on a local level, and those numbers are still being tabulated.

Current and potential Humana customers as well as friends and family involved in Medicare decisions were notified of the event via telephone calls, cinema advertising, fliers and print ads. Information also was available at senior centers nationwide.

The program included 2,000 events in 700 AMC, Cinemark, Regal Entertainment Group and affiliate movie theaters. Information also was posted on www.humana-movie.com.

CineMedia beamed the Humana film and "Casablanca" digitally to participating cinemas over its Digital Content Network, satellite and digital technology designed to produce in-theater events.

Humana soon will return to more traditional marketing means.

"The overall logistics of being in 700 theaters nationwide was incredible," Mr. Feinstein said. "Everyone received the same positive results."

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