Looks like Hollywood’s TV execs are about to get pitched — by California. The state is one of only a few moving ahead with implementing an insurance exchange as mandated by President Obama‘s controversial health-care reform law — aka Obamacare — that recently passed Supreme Court muster. The New York Times reports California’s exchange board of directors is going full-speed ahead with plans to publicize the program ahead of its mandated January 2014 deadline — with the thought that if successful it could act as a roadmap for other states to follow. As part of a marketing strategy designed via a nearly $1 million contract with Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, the exchange will pitch health care-based story lines to TV shows. From the article:
Plans are being discussed to pitch a reality television show about “the trials and tribulations of families living without medical coverage,” according to the Ogilvy plan. The exchange will also seek to have prime-time television shows, like “Modern Family,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and Univision telenovelas, weave the health care law into their plots. “I’d like to see 10 of the major TV shows, or telenovelas, have people talking about ‘thathealth insurance thing,’ ” said Peter V. Lee, the exchange’s executive director. “There are good story lines here.”
The NYT also says that the pro-health care law group the California Endowment is running TV and newspaper ads featuring talk-show host Dr. Oz urging watchers and readers to “get educated, get engaged, get enrolled.”
It’s not the first time governments have turned to Hollywood to get its message out. Last year, Michelle Obama was in town urging the guilds to pitch stories about military families to film, TV and and digital media creators as part of her Joining Forces initiative. On that same trip, she taped an appearance on Nickelodeon’s iCarly, whose lead character is a daughter of a U.S. service member stationed overseas.