“Why the hell do I need health insurance? I’m not sick. Why should I hand people money for something that I’ll never use?”

“$80?? That’s two cartons. That’s 48 beers that I miss out on per month. That is 1 ½ beers per day that do not get the chance to roll down my throat. What the hell?”

25-year-old me.

The young and fancy-free’s relationship with health insurance is a notoriously strained (or non-existent) one.

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“It won’t happen to me.”

The catch-cry of the young invincibles is entirely understandable. We’ve all been there. When your body is at its peak performance; when the only health concern you have is how to deal with that Lego-man that your mate bet you wouldn’t swallow; when the only time you think about the slow, inescapable march toward death is when Toadfish almost carks it in the season finale of Neighbours.

It’s a beautifully simple and carefree period in anyone’s life. And it needs to stop.

The facts are there in black and white. Without health insurance, you’re a sitting duck in Australia’s ever-privatising health system. The young invincibles need this protection.

Every day it edges closer to a non-negotiable.

How do we go about getting people excited about entering the insurance market whose interests involve racking up triple figure likes on that shot of their French Toast?

Simplify the message

“So you can co-pay your premium with the subsidy from your tax credits in” – boring. Insurance is boring and complicated.

THERE I SAID IT.

If your audience doesn’t understand the message that you’re trying to convey, they won’t see the value in it. That means, like a “don’t stick cutlery in the powerpoint” sign, you need to cater to the lowest common denominator.

There’s no need to go mono-syllabic, but exchanging insurance industry words for something more general and relatable will make the whole idea of insurance, and the process of shopping for it, a hell of a lot more enticing.

Use real-world examples and figures

At the heart of the “it won’t happen to me” philosophy is the inability of young invincibles to imagine themselves in another person’s shoes. They know bad things happen to good people, but really, what are the chances it will be them?

So give them the chances.

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Lay down some real-world stories and spell out exactly what seriously bad things can happen and have happened to seriously good people. A jarring bit of content is a cornerstone of the health industry, and there are good reasons why.

The hip pocket is the most tender part of any young person’s anatomy. Showing them the truth of an expected outlay for a broken leg, insured versus uninsured, is sure to grab their attention. The two cartons of monthly lost Carlton Draught can be a bargain price against the carton-of-Penfold’s-Grange sized medical bill they could otherwise be facing.

Package your message well

The message has been simplified, the facts have been collected, now it’s just a matter of putting this all together into a package that will be easily absorbed by the target audience.

When the Democrats of the US were trying to get young people to sign up for Obamacare, they courted the audience with the help of a massive line-up of comedians, using their profile and abilities to cut through the severe indifference that Millennials have towards anything that involves responsibility.

The Obama administration also came up with the cracking Tumblr “Adorable Care Act“, which uses a collection of cute-as-heck animal gifs to spruik the campaign’s message.

YES BABY TIGER CUB I WILL CERTAINLY SIGN-UP FOR THIS TERRIFIC SCHEME.

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Like a toddler at Christmas, the packaging is just as important for young invincibles as the content itself. Grabbing their attention before they realise you’re talking about insurance may be the only chance you’ve got of getting them to listen.

There’s no doubt that getting people out of an “it won’t happen” mindset is an extremely difficult task, and there will never be a sure-fire way to do it. But if you put yourself in the shoes of the target market and get to understand what makes them tick, you’ll have some semblance of a chance of changing some minds.

If all else fails, reference Toadfish.