Obama Recruits Celebs’ Moms in Video Campaign to Boost ACA Enrollment

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Th Obamas are pulling out all the stunts in the countdown to the March 31 enrollment deadline for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare). First, you’ll recall it was Mr. President’s turn to get the final word out: Barack Obama himself appeared on Zach Galifianaski’s “Between Two Ferns” (to the genuine delight of throngs of Twitterbirds, tweeting away about the appearance, with nary an ACA mention).

Still, the effect on healthcare.com was noticeable. Let it be clear: this administration is media- and tech-savvy. They know how to get the messages out nowadays. Now, it is the Mrs.’s turn. First Lady Michelle Obama is also making a splash with her video campaign #YourMomCares (already 761K views and counting, at present) starring the mothers of household-name celebs.

This White House is in tight with the stars, and for good reason. Anyone who has looked at the numbers of what Americans read, watch (which obviously should be in reverse order, because who reads anymore?!), and pay attention to, knows that it’s celebs. Got a worthwhile message? Want traction? Attach a few celebs to the cause.

Produced by Droga5, an award-winning ad agency, it will be interesting to see if there is a resultant bump in enrollment after clicking on #YourMomCares.

It wasn’t hard to wrangle a gaggle of Hollywood’s top talent to back the agenda. The video ad features the mamas of J. Lo, Alicia Keys, Jonah Hill and Adam Levine, who spill stories about their star kids … before they were famous. Who wouldn’t want a piece of that dish? Genius! While it’s not shocking to hear Hill’s mom refer to the childhood version of her son as a prankster, and Keys’s mother to her daughter as an old soul, it’s still awfully cute. And after we’re wooed by the childhood reminiscing, we’re implored to sign up for health insurance.

Why? Because don’t you want your mother to sleep at night? And don’t you want to prevent her from having a nervous breakdown? And don’t you want to please her and make her proud?

While entertaining, this is still a real and plausible angle to take. Because mothers do worry. And most adults do still care what their parents think and wish to make them happy (despite what they may say). And celebs were kids once too, and have moms (isn’t that cool?). Michelle Obama, mother of two, knows this well. As she says in the video finale, “We nag you because we love you.”

The words and phrases do resonate, and the Obama administration is hoping this will be especially true for the young, healthy “invincibles” who think they don’t need insurance and haven’t enrolled (and whose enrollments are desperately needed to keep health insurance affordable for the total U.S. population, including those older and not healthy).

As Hill’s mother, Sharon Feldstein, puts it, “Taking care of yourself so your mothers can sleep and have a nice life after all they’ve done for you is not too much to ask.”

Oh my God, she sounds just like … my mom! And yours, too, I imagine. And that, my Dears, is precisely the point. Well played, say I. Let the good kids enroll.

Julie D. Andrews is a writer and editor living in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @julieDandrews.

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