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Take advice from your pet: sign up for Obamacare

What will the public trust most for news about the Affordable Care Act? The words of a politician, or the chirps of a parakeet?

A new public service announcement released on February 4 hopes you’ll go with the bird – and with the dog, cat, hamster, and other animals that tell viewers to sign up for Obamacare in its 30-second song.

Do something for those who care about you. Enroll today.

The PSA ends with suggestion to visit Get Covered America, a website that offers information about the Affordable Care Act, including a cost calculator, enrollment links, and answers to common questions. Local events the public can attend for direct assistance are listed, too.

Sponsored by the Ad Council and Enroll America, and created by La Comunidad and Razorfish, the ad hopes to encourage ACA enrollment prior to the March 31 deadline for 2014 registration.

Over 80 percent of Americans currently without health insurance are unaware of the cut-off date, the organizations learned from research, and almost 70 percent don’t know of available financial assistance.

Says Ad Council president and CEO Peggy Conlon:

With the significant lack of awareness about the new insurance options available to Americans, there is a great need for a national public education campaign.

Women of ages 18-to-34 are a particular target of the campaign, the sponsors say.

Research shows many of these young women lack awareness of the new options for insurance, are interested in learning more, and are more likely than men to do research, enroll, encourage others, and spread the word.

So why does the message come from pets instead of politicians or even pundits? Says Rodrigo Butori, creative director at La Comunidad:

We needed a familiar face that would stand out amidst all the noise to communicate to all Americans the benefits of enrolling for health insurance in a way that’s entertaining, relatable and easy to digest. We thought about pets. Why? Two-thirds of American homes have pets. They have been the recipient of people’s love and care for ages. So it’s time for them to return the favor. It’s time for pets to take care of people for a change.

The message could appeal to many, and to its target market in particular. Women are much more likely than men to have animals, too, according to the Lifestyle Market Analyst, and the 18-to-34 years age group makes up over 21 percent of all American pet owners.

Over 33,000 media, including television and radio stations, magazines, newspapers and websites, will receive appropriate formats of the ad this week.