Why CVS emphasized ‘healthier’ rather than ‘healthy’ in its latest campaign

The push features Hamilton’s Renée Elise Goldsberry.

Why CVS emphasized ‘healthier’ rather than ‘healthy’ in its latest campaign

WOONSOCKET, RI: CVS Health would like people to know “healthier comes in all these different shapes and sizes and ages and races and faces.”

The Rhode Island-based corporation is sharing that message in its Healthier Happens Together campaign. The company, which includes retail pharmacies and the insurance provider Aetna, launched at the end of last month. 

In a video ad, Renée Elise Goldsberry, the singer and actress from the Broadway musical “Hamilton,” sings about what “healthier” means. 

The company deliberately choose that word rather than “healthy,” which “can sometimes feel overwhelming for people to achieve and sustain, but CVS Health is uniquely able to support individuals and families through all stages of their journey as they pursue ‘healthier,’” Michelle Peluso, CVS EVP and chief customer officer, said in a statement. 

The $25 million campaign comes as new CEO Karen Lynch accelerates the company’s efforts to transform its drugstores into places for primary care, including for people with chronic conditions such as diabetes.

“We’ll be far more than the corner drugstore,” Lynch told Fortune. “We’re pivoting to become more central to America’s health care.”  

CVS saw an 11% revenue increase in the latest quarter compared to the same time last year, boosted by its administration of 17 million COVID-19 vaccines, according to a Wall Street Journal report on the advertising campaign. 

The video featuring Goldsberry has been viewed more than 1,400 times on YouTube and generated more than 300 views on Instagram. The company shared with PRWeek that it’s promoting the campaign via national broadcast television, online video, such as Hulu and Roku, radio, digital, and paid and organic social activations.

To get a better sense of the company’s goals for the effort, PRWeek interviewed Ethan Slavin, head of CSR media relations at CVS Health. 

How did you arrive at the decision to focus on the word "healthier" rather than "healthy?”
Based on our consumer research, we know that “healthy” can feel overwhelming for people to achieve and sustain, but we have a unique opportunity to support them through all stages of their health journey as they pursue “healthier.” We are providing quality care that is more personal, convenient, accessible and affordable, supporting people through every big and small moment of health, from preventive care, health screenings and immunizations, and managing chronic conditions to telehealth when you need it most or support throughout a pregnancy when you’re expanding your family.

Do you think it's possible that people will continue to visit CVS stores in the same or greater numbers once the pandemic is over?
Yes. Our nearly 300,000 colleagues stepped up and rose to the moment when Americans needed us most and through their unwavering commitment, we’ve administered more than 32 million COVID tests and more than 34 million vaccines, and counting. We have a unique ability, and opportunity, to eliminate the barriers that stand between people and healthier lives. With our expansive community presence and significant digital assets, we are engaging with consumers across digital and physical experiences in ways that no one else can.

As a united team, we’ve achieved a great deal in the wake of COVID-19. But our work isn’t done, and we are hyper-focused on maintaining the brand trust we have earned.

How did you devise the song?
The song was developed as part of the creative strategy and execution for the overall Healthier Happens Together campaign, which was supported by our own internal marketing team and a collection of individuals from two Publicis agencies: Saatchi & Saatchi LA and Le Truc. This customized agency team has been a tremendous partner, exhibiting the breadth and depth of capabilities we need to grow the business and brand going forward in a digital-centric world.

Media buying for this campaign was handled in collaboration with UM, CVS Health’s agency of record for all paid media except paid search, since 2019.

And how did Renée Elise Goldsberry end up singing it?
We wanted the song to have a message that will showcase the commitment we have to put the consumer first in their health care using empathetic and inspirational vignettes across all touchpoints: in-store, at-home and digitally. We’re thrilled that Renée, an amazing award-winning Broadway actress and singer, was willing to sing our anthem.

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