Bupa adapts cartoon characters for TV ads

The private healthcare giant Bupa has adapted the cartoon stars of its press campaign for television, as it attempts to present a warmer image to consumers.

Created by WCRS, the television ads place the animated characters in comic situations to encourage people to reappraise Bupa and its offering.

The company introduced the cartoon style in May in a series of national press ads.

It hopes the TV spots will help reposition the brand as a broad health and services company, relevant for a large proportion of the population.

In one of the ads, entitled "roar", an elderly woman is about to move into a care home. She says to the Bupa representative: "And I see your Bupa care home has also got a nice big garden where I can do my painting. And just one more thing. Is it all right if I bring my cat?" At which point, a lion jumps on to the sofa beside her, much to the man's surprise.

The woman strokes the lion, then adds: "Don't worry, he's house trained."

The endline reads: "Bupa, the health and care people."

The art director was Simon Robinson and the copywriter was Jo Moore.

The director was Mic Graves through the animation company Studio AKA.

Media planning and buying was handled by Starcom MediaVest.

Simon Sheard, the group marketing director for Bupa, said: "Some people still perceive Bupa as an exclusive health insurer and we want people to become more familiar with the range of services we offer. Everyone has heard of us but few really know us.

"We hope that the new ads will prompt people to talk to us about their health-care needs, be it prevention, treatment or cure."

The ads break this week and will be shown on ITV, Channel 4, Sky and the Sky Movie Channel during programmes such as Fat Friends, News at Ten, Countdown and the film Bend it Like Beckham.