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Thursday, 2 October 2014

Health insurance company's mixed message?

Television advertisements can be a wonderful, don't you think?

Imaginative, creative, inspiring, amusing - take your pick.

And for the less enthusiastic, well they provide the chance to channel hop or pop to the loo when the commercial break interrupts TV viewing.

Currently showing on French telly is a spot for the health insurance company, Malakoff Médéric.

It's a 30 second salutary reminder of the importance of health insurance and showing us how we can be inspired by the younger generation.

screenshot from Musique de Pub's YouTube channel

It features a young cyclist who, first of all, rides past a woman trying to hail a taxi.

The cyclist reaches over and rings the bell of a rental bike, one of many in a rack close to where the woman is standing. A less-than-subtle message that it would be a healthier option - as the woman heads over to them.

Next up, some workmen, with the cyclist tapping on their helmets, which have been left on a table. As he rides off, the workmen are seen putting them on.

Another subtle message.

Finally, a woman whose glasses have broken. The cyclist stops and gestures towards an opticians. She's last seen entering.

Throughout the commercial, which incidentally uses "Temps à nouveau", the first single from the excellent Jean-Louis Aubert's 1993 album "H" as its soundtrack, there a voiceover telling us (just in case we hadn't got the message) that the young generation fully understands the importance of health insurance and that Malakoff Médéric gives both employees and companies the means to look after our health needs better.

The message is reinforced by the wording on the cyclist's tee-shirt changing throughout the commercial to coincide with each brief encounter: "What do we do to look after our health?" to "less stress", "protection" and "make savings".

All well and good.

Except there's one glaring oversight surely.

The cyclist - so concerned about the health and safety of others - isn't wearing a helmet.

Oh well, never mind. There's no legal requirement to wear one in France and besides some would argue that statistics show they offer little or no protection.

So that's all right then.

Here's the commercial on Musique de Pub's YouTube channel.

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