Breathing new life into an ad campaign
The new Kaiser Permanente Hawaii commercial titled "Share the breath" was recently singled out as ad of the day by national industry publication Adweek magazine, complete with online video. The spot is a local extension of Kaiser's national "Thrive" campaign, keyed off ancient Hawaiians' concept of the breath of life.
You see old-timers and renaissancers exchange breath upon greeting one another.
Some believe the term haole means "without breath" and came about due to Hawaiians' observations that people from other lands did not do the breath-exchange thing -- but that may be fodder for another column by another columnist.
The spot was submitted to Adweek by Kaiser's ad agency, the Los Angeles office of Detroit-based Campbell-Ewald Advertising and drew readers' raves, such as, "very engaging," "awesome," "best I've seen in a long time," and "breathtaking," a play on the spot's theme.
It starts with a little boy breathing as he's checked by a doctor with a stethoscope. It cuts to rapid-fire scenes including Honolulu, a football players' ha'a, hula dancers, Lynell Bright and the Kamehameha Schools choir, a Shigeo Yoshinaga kendo class and surfboard shaper Dick Brewer -- and ends with a stethoscope-wielding doctor checking the breathing of -- an older man.
The opening and ending show physician interaction and reflect the circle of life, said Bill Corba, Kaiser Hawaii chief marketing officer.
There is no music. The sound is an orchestrated, rhythmic series of breaths. It is probably not a TV spot from which the audio could simply be lifted for use on the radio, as too often happens.
A key difference between the spot Adweek posted and the final product airing locally, is the ending voice-over.
The first has a British-sounding bloke saying "Our doctors share every breath you take. Kaiser Permanente. Thrive."
The line in the final cut is, "Sharing the breath of life," as read by award-winning recording artist Amy Hanai'ali'i Gilliom.
Kaiser celebrates 50 years in Hawaii in November, so "we had wanted to develop a local advertisement that truly reflected a sort of modern Hawaii, but keeping in mind all the traditions and heritage that we have," Corba said.
"Originally we thought of the word 'aloha' and that sort of started a discussion," leading to the focus on the idea of breath.
The national agency hired local shooters, crew and actors and as the 50th anniversary approaches the spot will air more heavily and will be joined by advertising in other media.
It can be seen at the health and wellness section of Kaiser's Web site, and on YouTube at youtube.com/watch?v= XPPPDwW3c6s.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org