Humana adds games to digital initiative

LOUISVILLE, KY: Health benefits provider Humana is launching two online games this month as part of its Humana Games for Health initiative.

LOUISVILLE, KY: Health benefits provider Humana is launching two online games this month as part of its Humana Games for Health initiative, which educates consumers about well-being through the use of video games.

The Freewheelin Cycle Challenge, launched December 22, targets women age 35 and older. The game enables Humana to connect with these healthcare decision makers via a nontraditional medium, said Paul Puopolo, director of consumer innovation at Humana.

The Battle of the Bulge, the company's first Facebook application, will launch December 24. It targets a slightly younger demographic, men and women age 28 and older.

Puopolo said the games are one way to experiment with social networks.

"We want to remind people about healthy choices [during the holidays]," he said.

Since launching the overall effort in January, the company has introduced four online games, a Games for Health conference sponsorship, and a Web site, Puopolo noted.

The effort also contains a viral component, as news of the launches spread to Facebook and nutrition blogs after the company announced them on Twitter. The company retained a viral element because Humana is gauging how consumers share health messages online, said Puopolo.

"We have to let people know that we've involved in the space," he added.

Humana's communications staff is measuring the success of the games by the number of impressions they receive and how long consumers play them, explained Puopolo.

Edelman, AOR for Humana since September, is providing support for the initiative, said Jim Turner, media relations manager for Louisville, KY-based Humana. Budget was not available.

Two mobile games are scheduled to launch by the second quarter of next year as part of Games for Health, Puopolo added.

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