We recently introduced Got Insurance?, a Colorado-based campaign intended to encourage uninsured folks to sign up for health-care coverage. Critics dubbed the first batch of ads "brosurance," with Congressman Cory Gardner ripping an image featuring a keg stand.
Now comes the second wave of spots, which is stirring up more controversy thanks to mentions of birth control, in conjunction with the Ryan Gosling "Hey, Girl" meme, that one article has dubbed "hosurance." Get details and see the new ads below.
"Hey,Girl" memes have been an online favorite for the past few years. They typically feature hunky photos of Gosling accompanied by ultra-romantic/totally ridiculous come-ons like this:
In coming up with Got Insurance? images aimed at young women (the first batch mostly zeroed in on young men), the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative and ProgressNow Colorado Education, the campaign's creators, drew on the "Hey, Girl" concept for this ad: No, the use of the Gosling's image and the "Hey, Girl" concept isn't what's raised hackles from either complainers or the actor's camp; Adam Fox, director of strategic engagement for CCHI, considers the meme to be part of the public domain anyhow. Rather, it's the idea of using birth control coverage as a way to appeal to the uninsured -- a theme handled in an even saucier way in this ad: The second spot is branded "gross" in a post on The Blaze, a website associated with conservative commentator Glenn Beck. The item declares that "Obamacare is a great plan for the promiscuous!"
The article's text includes this statement: "Fast-forward to today and the latest Obamacare ad campaign. For guys, there's brosurance to keep that beer fund intact. For girls, there's... hosurance."
The post also features critical tweets of the sort that Fox himself has seen. But he's not taking such gripes to heart.
Continue for more about the latest Got Insurance? campaign controversy. According to Fox, the goal for the latest ads is the same as it was for the initial images -- "raising people's awareness that they have new health insurance options, and getting them thinking about why health insurance is important for them."
In his view, "the first round was successful, and based on the shares we've seen so far, the second round is effective as well -- obviously with a little more controversy."
He certainly doesn't apologize for the spots mentioning birth control. In his view, "reproductive health care, birth control included, is really vital to the health of our population, as well as everybody of a reproductive age, male or female."
Getting any attention for a pro-Obamacare message at a time when there's a flood of bad news about problems with its roll-out in general and its messed-up website in particular is a challenge, Fox admits -- "but what we know is, people are going to take a while to shop around and really compare their health-insurance options. So it's important to get people started in that process as soon as possible."
The problem isn't as severe in Colorado, where the state's health-care exchange, Connect for Health Colorado, appears to be working better than the federal version. Still, Fox says, "it's very important that the national website works as well -- and we're focused on really raising awareness among populations that haven't really been as engaged in health-care or health insurance before that they will be able to take advantage of this program.So we're encouraging people to visit the website and start looking at their options."
Here are more of the new Got Insurance? ads:
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More from our Politics archive: "Video: Capitol Hill attack on brosurance campaign thrills group behind it."