Oscar Wins by Making Healthcare More Humane


“Oscar’s problem with the healthcare industry is that it’s viewed as inhumane. The industry doesn’t really focus on the individual, and it’s hard to navigate,” says Veronica Parker-Hahn, Vice President of Marketing at Oscar Insurance. “And we saw a great opportunity to bring a human component to healthcare.”

According to the New York Times, Oscar Insurance, a tech-driven startup, was recently valued as high as $1.5 billion, more than three times its valuation in January 2014. And the success is continuing for the New York based company, having recently taken home an Effie at the annual Effie Awards Gala in New York, for their acclaimed Bringing Humility to Health Insurance campaign.

During a recent sit down with Avid’s Alan Hart, Veronica Parker-Hahn, who oversees marketing and consumer outreach efforts, discussed Oscar’s mission to be known as a friendly, approachable company, while bringing out the personality of the brand through their award-winning campaign.

And many believe it’s this type of friendly and humane approach to healthcare that has rocketed Oscar Insurance to such success in such a short period of time.

“We approached this campaign as consumers, as opposed to marketers,” says Parker-Hahn. “We’ve all been consumers trying to get healthcare coverage, and we used that insight to really listen to what our customers are saying.”

In addition to truly listening to the needs of the consumer, Parker-Hahn attributes Oscar Insurance’s marketing effectiveness to the company’s constant study, evaluation, and optimization of each area of the organization’s marketing system. These types of techniques, combined with a team of what Parker-Hahn calls, “scrappy, smart, and creative” marketers, have no doubt attributed to Oscar’s accumulation of over 40,000 members since its launch back in 2013.

However, Parker-Hahn isn’t letting Oscar’s recent marketing success prevent her from staying up to date with the marketing efforts of other brands, emphasizing that she’s seeing a trend of, “trying to figure out the right balance” throughout different marketing spaces. This of course in reference to figuring out the balance between doing creative work in-house, and working with external partners, which many successful creative marketing teams also discuss.

Yet, as Oscar Insurance moves toward the future, with an emphasis on keeping things fresh, Parker-Hahn mentions how important it will be for Oscar, as well as other companies, to adapt to new platforms. “I think the future holds more companies trying to do what Oscar does,” says Parker-Hahn. “Taking the young talent that could make the next cool app, and using it to disrupt a big industry.”

And if the payoff is to be anything to degree of Oscar Insurance’s success, we can rest assured that Parker-Hahn’s predictions will most likely come to fruition.

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