Advancing a Free Society

Rescuing Obamacare: Leave It To Bieber

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

If there’s a downside to the written medium, it’s moments like this, when trying to convey the essence of a newly released pro-Obamacare ad featuring – this isn’t a typo – singing cats, dogs, parakeets, tortoises and hamsters.

In other words: words can’t do it justice.

Here’s the video, produced by Enroll America and the Ad Council. It’s intent: to connect with 18- to 34-year-old women who aren’t signing up for Obamacare in suitable numbers – a growing concern for the Obama Administration as the March 31 deadline approaches.

So what’s the thinking behind the choice of singing critters instead of, say, a bespectacled hipster?

“We needed a familiar face that would stand out amidst all the noise to communicate to all Americans the benefits of enrolling for health insurance in a way that’s entertaining, reliable and easy to digest,” Rodrigo Butori, a creative director involved with the ad, told The Daily Caller. “We thought about pets. Why? Two thirds of American homes have pets. They have been the recipient of people’s love and care for ages. So it’s time for them to return the favor. It’s time for pets to take care of people for a change.”

So there you have it: the keys to selling the President’s healthcare law – disapproved by a majority of Americans, per this Gallup survey – is tapping into the public’s need to be entertained and comforted by familiar faces.

If that’s the case, here are some suggestions for future Obamacare ads.

The Kardashians.  At least one member of America’s most overexposed family endorsed the President in 2012. Perhaps it’s time for Kim Kardashian, to do the President a second favor. Consider what the future Mrs. Kanye West and her relatives bring to the Obamacare discussion: pregnancy and neonatal care (baby North West); substance abuse (Khloe Kardashian’s soon-to-be ex-husband), plus cosmetic surgery (Bruce Jenner) and mental health (Kris Jenner coming to terms with her split with Bruce). And if she eventually loses her job over the rollout debacle, perhaps Kathleen Sebelius (first name begins with a K, like all female Kardashians) joins the cast.

George Clooney. Before he became an award-winning director and film star, Clooney played a doctor on NBC.  That gives him as much working knowledge of Obamacare as Nancy Pelosi. Clooney’s fondness for the President is well documented. In a few days, they may share something else in common: authors of big-budget productions that stumbled out of the gate. That’s Obamacare for the President and The Monuments Men for Clooney – a film whose Christmas release was delayed until the February dead zone (usually a sign of trouble) and is opening this weekend to mixed reviews. On second thought, if the target audience is younger women, isn’t Ryan Gosling the wiser choice?

Justin Bieber. The obvious motivation for “the Biebs”: do an Obamacare public-service spot and maybe that nasty deportation business disappears. Then again, if Bieber does get the boot and winds up back in the land of the maple leaf, what better way to begin a U.S. comeback than going on television and talking up America’s health system – at Canada’s expense, of course.

Hillary Clinton. Is there a better savior for the President’s beleaguered plan than the most respected woman in America (Hillary earning as much respect as Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Angela Merkel, Angelina Jolie and Queen Elizabeth II combined)? You respect her -- and you can trust her: she’d never affix her name to a horribly flawed, government assault on the healthcare market . . .

Michael Douglas. Not because he had a very public battle with cancer. It’s Douglas’ lead character in The American President – a liberal willing to back-sass conservatives and throw down the gauntlet on guns and the environment – that the left thought it was getting with Barack Obama and hasn’t (this will be especially true if the President greenlights the Keystone XL pipeline). An ad that would look something like this, substituting “John Boehner” for “Bob Rumson”.

Then again, what if the Obamacare brain trust insists on sticking with animals?

Clydesdales and Labs. Anheuser-Busch’s “Puppy Love” ad was voted the top commercialduring the Super Bowl by Hulu viewers and has drawn tens of millions of viewers on YouTube since Sunday’s game. The secret? The ad tugs at the heartstrings. There’s no goofiness, as with the Obamacare ad.

First Dog Bo. The President’s approval numbers are better, but most Americans think his policies are destined to fail. The First Lady likes to play it safe with nutrition and obesity. The First Daughters are civilians, not soldiers. That leaves it to Bo, the elder of the Obama family’s dogs, to come to the President’s rescue. The White House may already understand this: Michelle Obama appeared in this year’s Puppy Bowl, joined by Sunny and fellow First Dog Bo. If you doubt a dog’s ability to charm, check out how Sutter Brown factors into his master’s political agenda in Sacramento.

Leave it to a dog, to make us Obamacare “Beliebers”.


Follow Bill Whalen on Twitter: @hooverwhalen