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Persuading 'Young Invincibles' To Buy Obamacare Insurance

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The campaign switched gears. The Red Sox still provided the platform but the messages came instead from young people who'd suffered serious illnesses or crashes and others who were able to find affordable coverage on the state's new marketplace. TV ads featured a young woman sitting in a green stadium seat at Fenway talking about her life following a breast cancer diagnosis.

Minnesota officials have been talking with its pro teams, including the Twins, Timberwolves, Vikings and the Lynx to encourage residents to sign up for coverage, borrowing a page from the Massachusetts playbook.

And, just yesterday, MNsure announced that Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox will be the faces of the exchange.

The state is contracting with BBDO Proximity Minneapolis for the website's roughly $9 million marketing campaign. At the campaign's launch Sunday, BBDO creative director Brian Kroening said he wanted the advertising to be easy to understand, local, and upbeat.

"Because this is in fact great news for those that are uninsured. We liked Paul and Babe because everybody seems to recognize them. They were easy to work with. We were looking for what was unique to Minnesota," Kroening said.

Billboards with Bunyan and Babe's images are going up, along with MNsure advertising on buses and in skyways and newspapers. The campaign's motto will be "The Land of 10,000 Reasons to get Health Insurance."

Meanwhile, Robert Bauer may get health coverage after all. Starting next week, he'll be attending graduate school at Virginia Tech to study plant and soil science where, he says, insurance will cost him $200 a year in out of pocket costs. That's only about $100 more than the penalty he would have to pay if he chose not to get insurance.

MPR reporter Rupa Shenoy contributed to this story, which is part of a collaboration that includes Kaiser Health News, NPR, and MPR News.

Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan health policy research and communications organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

Sun, Aug 18 2013

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