Best Benefits Communicaton

ExactTarget spoofs movie to boost coverage sign-ups

A fun, innovative approach captured staffers’ attention and boosted registration for health care benefits to record levels. All you need is a video camera, a few clever scripts, and an in-house ‘star.’

Benefits Open Enrollment - Logo -

Scheduling a colonoscopy. Signing up for health care benefits.

Now, there’s a toss-up. The two are probably equally enticing to your employees. 

ExactTarget took a page from Mary Poppins and adopted the “spoonful of sugar” approach by injecting (sorry!) a little humor into the registration campaign. 

The unorthodox approach garnered extraordinary participation numbers, as well as Ragan’s 2013 Employee Communications Award for Best Benefits Communication.

So, what was the magic medium? Video, specifically movie parodies. 

Working with TrendyMinds, the company tapped one of its own, the gregarious Joel Book—a veteran public speaker with a vivacious on-camera presence—as its “Official Open Enrollment Spokesperson.” Then the fun began, with the following spoofs:

  • “Cast Away”: Book is marooned on a deserted island after ExactTarget’s user conference and must escape in time to educate employees before open enrollment ends.  
  • “Office Space”: Book endures a nightmarish (aka typical) open enrollment at another company before awakening to realize it was all a bad dream.
  • “Fast and Furious”: Book challenges his competition for next year’s Open Enrollment Spokesperson job to a street race.

Other communication channels (email, postcards, etc.) adapted and/or promoted the video format to convey the importance of employee sign-ups. There were also live information sessions, with video screenings that served as a warm-up act for the live speakers.

As ExactTarget reports, it was the most successful effort in company history, achieving these remarkable results:

  • Drove record participation of 1,455 employees (97 percent) who enrolled by the deadline.
  • Secured a record 99 percent completion rate as of two days post-deadline.
  • Achieved email open rates in the high-60 percentiles and click-through rates up to 65 percent.
  • Drove more than 3,000 unique landing page views.
  • Engaged a record number of nearly 200 employees via live and webcast info sessions.

It’s hard to argue with that kind of success, so we won’t. 

Instead, bravi to the teams at TrendyMinds and ExactTarget for finding a way to make benefits enrollment fun—and supremely effective. 

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