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Paul Bunyan and Flying Raccoons: The Six Best Obamacare Ads

A still from the ad "No More Surprises" for Washington Healthplanfinder

Courtesy Washington Healthplanfinder via YouTube

A still from the ad "No More Surprises" for Washington Healthplanfinder

There are less than two weeks to go until the Obamacare insurance marketplaces are launched on Oct. 1, and—surprise!—the U.S. is still getting ready. Some states still haven’t released details about which prescription drugs will be covered under the health plans they’re offering, the Obama administration has had to postpone its requirement that companies with 50 or more employees provide health insurance, and Georgia’s state insurance commissioner Ralph Hudgens recently said the state would do “everything in our power to be an obstructionist” and make it difficult for Georgians to navigate the new marketplaces. Fear not, for there is one thing officials have fully embraced: funny videos.

States are beginning to roll out ad campaigns to encourage people to sign up for the health insurance exchanges. While most of the commercials are pretty unoriginal, some go out of their way to be hilarious. Which is no easy task when you’re trying to sell people on a government program. Here’s a sample of the catchiest ads:

1. Washington


This is by far the best commercial in the bunch. It’s also a blatant rip-off of Allstate’s Raccoon Mayhem spot.

2. Oregon

This video for the Cover Oregon insurance exchange features Portland musician Laura Gibson and her Portland Cello Project. Of course it does.

3. Maryland

Cost of Maryland’s health insurance exchange marketing campaign: $2.5 million. Successfully working a website ending in “.gov” into a jingle: priceless.

4. Minnesota

“Land of 10,000 reasons to get health insurance” is a pretty good slogan. But why is Paul Bunyan water skiing?

5. California

This could double as one of those whimsical, feel-good prescription drug commercials. And is it just me, or does that voice over sound like President Obama?

6. Colorado

Connect For Health Colorado spent $21 million on a marketing campaign, which includes a series of commercials featuring people “winning” at life by purchasing health insurance. A horse is involved.


Suddath is a staff writer for Bloomberg Businessweek.

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