Creative Direction // Initial Brand Awareness Campaign

Creative Direction // Initial Brand Awareness Campaign

Just in time for open Enrollment

I joined Clover just as the branding guidelines had been finalized by Red Antler. The colorful branding is intended to stand out in the healthcare space, but as there was only a very small enrollment window for Medicare plans and a totally new brand, we needed to raise awareness of Clover clearly and quickly.

Identifying quickly that initial brand awareness should focus on what exactly Clover was offering, which is not something that the simplified brand guideline had specified, I developed direct headlines and chose member photography to carry some of the burden of identifying audience.

Plus, as a unique challenge, most of the San Francisco/tech side of the startup were new to working in healthcare and unfamiliar with the highly-regulated field of Medicare plans and their specific audiences. Part of my job in the first months was to read, highlight and understand all of the procedures and guidelines laid out by the Center for Medicare Services, gain as much understanding of the process of enrollment I could from beneficiaries and customer service leads on the New Jersey/plan side of the startup, help develop the voice and tone guidelines, convince the team we needed to hire a copywriter immediately, and then pass on as much knowledge as I could to her in record time.

Photo shoot and editing

At Clover, we wanted as much as possible to eschew stock photos and clichés and to amplify our real members. I helped organize and art directed this first just-in-time photo shoot with beneficiaries, and used the opportunity to speak with them about their lives and to validate headlines and colors. I clipped and retouched the resulting selects for use on billboards, website and print collateral.

AEP advertising

The Annual Enrollment period for Medicare plans is very short, from October to December. Clover had the challenge of being a newcomer and getting from awareness to conversion for something as critically important as one’s healthcare. I designed a blitz of out-of-home, print brochure, direct mail and social media tactics in close collaboration with the copywriter.

The out-of-home campaign was often mentioned by enrollees as something they had seen and remembered, and the brochures helped the field agents tremendously in answering questions about the plans (and establishing brand legitimacy) when they spoke with potential enrollees or their families.

Social video spot

One of the vendors we were working with got us a social video spot with almost no time to make it. We had no video assets, only stills. A first draft they put together was wildly problematic, with visual gimmicks like spinning 2D images and attempting to tell too many things.

The social media manager, copywriter and I sat and rescripted, gave many notes and very specific direction so that the second draft was one that we could use. I comped animations and laid out the final screen so that it would pass CMS guidelines. I even managed to get in a clever “love->Clover” transition that I thought was too good to pass up.

While some of the type transitions are still slightly gimmicky to my tastes, it succeeds at being clear and visually reinforcing the other media the audience might have seen. It was used in extremely-targeted social media and preroll.


One of the great things about being on-hand with the members at the photo shoot is I was able to have short interviews with them, learning a lot about who they were as well as how they felt about the brand‘s nascent messaging and colors. When tasked with designing a banner for a recruiting event, I was able to write effective and authentic copy using the information I gathered.

Further research into Medicare beneficiaries provided not only the groundwork for persona-building but also a lot of insights for me personally: my time at Clover was a terrific education in both the complexities of healthcare and anti-ageism.

…And More

Some of my time at Clover was spent on refining the brand system’s typography and color palette for consistency and legibility, making a proposal for using beneficiary and provider testimonials, exploring data visualization and workplace wellness and culture. Please drop me a note if you’re interested in talking through any of these projects.

Owen was our second designer at Clover and was instrumental in developing the brand and leading the marketing design efforts.

I worked closely with Owen throughout our intense open enrollment selling season. He pushes for perfection, but understands when tradeoffs need to be made to meet timelines and move quickly.

Owen is also passionate about defining culture. His calm and peaceful demeanor is a welcome addition in a high-paced environment.

Louisa Henry

Director of Product Specialists, Airtable

To say Owen would be a big catch for any organization is a vast understatement. Personally very sincere, thoughtful, and earnest to help his coworkers, Owen moreover is a truly gifted designer, thinker, and collaborator. I worked alongside him at a Medicare health insurance startup on a small marketing team, and though Owen’s specific role was Senior Designer, he lent on-the-spot project management skills to produce down-and-dirty marketing campaigns on tight timelines.

When working with Owen, one has the feeling they’re being listened to, having their viewpoint authentically considered in depth. Owen’s professional skillset becomes evident immediately upon working with him.

What’s more, I have Owen to thank for my introduction to mindfulness practices, as he was solely responsible for developing a daily meditation at our company, which was a staple part of several coworkers’ days and work-life balance. Owen is professionally talented, but more importantly, is truly his brothers’ and sisters’ keeper.

Brian Gilton

Senior Writer, Dropbox

Let’s talk!

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©2019 Owen Troy