Kaiser Permanente needed to do a disaster check before launching Saturday, one of the boldest ads in their Thrive campaign. Saturday’s message was a marked departure for them as it focused on chronic care and really emphasized the mind, body, and spirit approach to treating illness. In early research, focus group reaction to Saturday was positive, but there were concerns at the executive level about its portrayal of a woman living with cancer.
In addition to more data, Kaiser wanted the ability to tease out underlying thoughts and ideas from consumers to understand if there would be any negative blow back from the advertisement. iModerate’s hybrid approach was utilized to allow the healthcare giant to truly dive in individually with Kaiser members based on their survey answers to get feedback around perception, fit with the brand, and a read on issues that arose.
The research alleviated fears of a negative backlash and proved that the commercial was an appropriate framework for tackling a sensitive issue. Consumers found the message to be clear, poignant and full of optimism. Any negativity about the ad had nothing to do with Kaiser’s portrayal of cancer or their insensitivity regarding that topic.
In fact, Saturday appeared to be effective at strengthening Kaiser’s image. Several consumers explained that the commercial gave them a more favorable outlook toward Kaiser because it enhanced their perception that the company provides their patients with comprehensive care to help them live normal lives when coping with serious medical issues. The commentary captured in the one-on-ones gave Kaiser the added confidence that consumers had very limited concerns about the appropriateness of airing the ad on TV. Today, Kaiser’s ad tracking initiatives as well as anecdotal evidence suggest that the commercial as well as the overall Thrive campaign continues to be very well received.