Blue Cross Blue Shield Of Minnesota Promo, Case study THE HUMAN DO.ING by Fleishman Hillard


Pin to Collection
Add a note
Industry Insurance
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency Fleishman Hillard
Released June 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Live Events and/or Stunts
Senior Vice President/General Manager: David Hakensen (Fleishman-Hillard)
Senior Vice President: Doug Terfehr (Fleishman-Hillard)
Vice President: Angie Andresen (Fleishman-Hillard)
Account Executive: Renee Rosenow (Fleishman-Hillard)
Creative co-chair: Troy Longie (Mono)
Account Director: Melissa Mathei (Mono)
Chief Executive Officer: Laura Sandall (Sandall Marketing)
Event Manager: Teri Anderson (Sandall Marketing)
Channel Z: Ace Allgood (Head Cheese)
Media placement: Pre-Launch Media Relations - - 15 March 2011
Media placement: Internal Communications - BlueNet Story (Intranet) - 18 March 2011
Media placement: Event Launch - See Above Media Relations) - 18 March 2011
Media placement: Marketing Communications - Outreach To Non-Media Stakeholders - 18 March 2011
Media placement: Day-Of Media Relations - Associated Press Which Saw Generous Pickup By Print/TV Across The U.S. - 18 March 2011
Media placement: Social Media - Ongoing Facebook, Twitter, YouTube - 18 March 2011
Media placement: Ongoing Media Relations - Associated Press, CNN Broadcast/online, Start Tribune, Yahoo! News (Top Photo), MSNBC, Etc. - 19 March - 16 April 2011
Media placement: Finale Press Conference - Associated Press (Third Story), Local TV - 16 April 2011
Media placement: White Paper/Case Study - - June 2011

Summary of the Campaign
How do you make healthy living a compelling story? You take a 45-year old clinically obese man and have him live for 30 days inside a glass apartment in a high-traffic mall and set an example of how he can achieve a healthy lifestyle through daily physical activity and healthy eating – and community support.

The program by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, called 'The Human', was designed to address the issue that 60% of Minnesotans are currently obese or overweight and to reinforce research that showed that people who received support from friends and family were more likely to engage in healthy behaviour than those who tried to do it alone.

To bring attention to the issue, Blue Cross identified a man who fit the description, had him live inside a 20x30 foot glass apartment for 1 month at the Mall of America, challenged him to do fun, daily physical activities and eat better, engaged consumers to support his journey by voting on his daily exercises, then ultimately provided the new media tools that enabled people to track his progress.

'Scott', The Human, actually did start 'doing' and the public support was the difference. The project resulted in 1,000+ media stories, thousands of tweets, Facebook likes, blog hits, text messages, video views and webcam clicks. In the end, through the public engagement, support and guidance from Blue Cross experts, Scott lost 29 pounds, and sent a message to millions that healthy living is achievable.

The Situation
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota wanted to create a demonstration project that would combine behaviour change with the encouragement of family, friends and community to help educate the public that health improvement can be easier with a support system.

To do that, it needed something dramatic to garner attention, a public spectacle for people to engage in a typical person’s daily routine of exercising and eating healthy in a public location, aided by the use of social media. A 20x30 foot glass apartment inside the Mall of America, the largest mall in the country, provided the perfect setting.

The Goal
Getting people to identify with the challenges people encounter when attempting to lead healthy lifestyles was the goal of The Human project. With 60% of Minnesotans currently overweight or obese, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota had spent years raising awareness of increasing physical activity and healthy eating – but it needed people to identify with actually changing behaviour. Research showed that people who enlisted support from friends and family did better at engaging in healthy behaviour than if they did it alone. A highly-visible project involving the public was created to encourage others to emulate the behaviour.

The Strategy
Once placing Scott inside a glass apartment was decided as the demonstration project, the strategy for the campaign was to ignite and sustain buzz throughout the month, starting with advance stories to build excitement. A highly visible launch was planned to reveal Scott and the furnished and full-stocked apartment to media and the public, creating a call to action for all Minnesotans to increase daily physical activity and choose healthy eating habits just like Scott.

Also important was driving the public to The Human’s social media assets – blog, Webcam, Facebook and Twitter – that he would use to interact with people during his journey.

With Scott doing three physical activities a day – all voted on by the public through social channels – as well as getting input from diet and exercise experts, there were plenty of opportunities for consumers to stay involved.

Throughout the month, various activities, events or milestones, including Scott’s move in day, kickoff of a local bike-sharing program, demonstrations of physical activities including hula hooping, Zumba, interpretive dance, Xbox Kinect gaming, cooking and nutrition demos, check-ins from Blue Cross Blue Shield medical experts on how Scott was progressing and his move-out day were developed and pushed out via media and social channels.

Daily blog entries at were filed by Scott, recapping activities, meals and visitors. They were often in video form and shared across platforms. Scott was responsible for regular engagement and responses on twitter, Facebook, his blog and live webcam – from 10am to 10pm.

Before each physical activity, fans voted via text, Twitter and Facebook as to which of 3 exercises Scott would do. The vote totals were displayed in rear time on 4 screens attached to the outside of the apartment, increasing engagement.

Documented Results

The Human project garnered more than 1,000 media placements over 4 weeks, achieving more than 51m impressions. Roughly 90% of coverage included messaging that Blue Cross created the project to encourage people to eat healthier and move their body every day. Among the more than 1,000 new clips were hits from the Associated Press, MSNBC, CNN, iPad’s The Daily, and local media.

Scott attracted 4,484 Facebook fans spanning 19 countries. The blog generated 23,550 unique visitors. When counting all social media assets utilized during his month, there was a total social media audience of 2m+ many who were changing their behaviours along with him.

Most importantly, Scott lost 29 pounds, reduced his cholesterol by 110 points and his blood pressure dropped 10 points, sending a strong message to all that healthy living is attainable with commitment and a little help from friends.