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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • MNsure marketing campaign to feature Paul Bunyan

  • Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox were unveiled Sunday as the new faces of MNsure, Minnesota's new online health insurance marketplace.
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  •  Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox were unveiled Sunday as the new faces of MNsure, Minnesota's new online health insurance marketplace.
    The state is contracting with BBDO Proximity Minneapolis for the $9 million marketing campaign titled "Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Reasons to Get Health Insurance."
    At a news conference to launch the campaign, BBDO creative director Brian Kroening said they chose the icons of Minnesota folklore because they wanted the advertising to be easy to understand, local and upbeat.
    "We liked Paul and Babe because everybody seems to recognize them. They were easy to work with," he quipped.
    Billboards featuring Bunyan and Babe go up Monday, along with MNsure advertising on buses and in skyways and newspapers, Minnesota Public Radio reported (http://bit.ly/15Xwhaa ).
    The lumberjack and his ox also will appear at MNsure's State Fair booth and show up at community events and in television ads, online videos and social media in a few weeks, said April Todd-Malmlov, MNsure's executive director.
    An excerpt of one video shows Bunyan water skiing off Lake Waconia and into a tree.
    MNsure is key to implementing President Barack Obama's health care law in Minnesota. Officials say they expect it to enroll about 1.3 million Minnesotans, including 300,000 who now lack health insurance.
    The advertising campaign is seen as crucial to its success, the Star Tribune reported. The new online marketplaces across the country must attract young and healthy people to keep premiums low and cover the costs to insure those with expensive medical needs, but polls show that public awareness is low. Those same healthy customers also will be courted by private insurance company advertisements.
    Nearly all U.S. residents will be required to have health insurance when coverage begins Jan. 1. Open enrollment in the insurance plans MNsure will offer opens Oct. 1.

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