Sleep Matters: Aetna Issues Wake Up Call in Sleep-Deprivation Campaign


Aetna Sleep Matters

Scientists, psychologists and public-health advocates have been assailing Americans for years about not getting enough sleep and how it can hurt health, job performance and satisfaction with life.

Now Aetna is presenting its own message about the problem of sleep deprivation that, research shows, affects 40 percent of Americans. The giant health insurer has launched a campaign called “Sleep Matters” on digital and social channels to educate people about the acute and long-term dangers of not getting enough sleep.

Aetna says, for instance, that lack of sleep is linked to decreased work and personal productivity, and the Centers for Disease Control says that an extra hour of sleep could increase earnings for Americans by 16 percent.

“Building a healthier world by helping people get and stay healthy is Aetna’s mission,” Dawn McAvoy, director of brand advertising and media, told brandchannel. “That’s why we are taking a fresh approach to educating and inspiring people to live healthier. Through storytelling, we’re starting a fresh conversation around important health topics.”

One video in the Sleep Matters campaign shows stuntmen and stuntwomen in goggles and otherwise constrained by the simulated effects of sleep deprivation. Naturally, despite their supreme confidence, athletic abilities and unparalleled coordination, they can’t quite get anything right under such obstacles, and fumble tasks ranging from putting on lipstick to riding a scooter to playing ping pong. Point (amusingly but effectively) made.

Another video called “Dreams Reclaimed” focuses on the emotional benefits of sleep. It recreates the first dreams of three people who haven’t been able to dream in years due to chronic sleep conditions. Supplemental video content delves into each person’s unique story.

Aetna may be on to something. There’s more and more public recognition and concern about sleep deprivation, and for a brand to take an inside track on an issue of mounting worry can pay benefits.


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