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Nutmeg - Oscar - NYC Subway Ads

Oscar: Get Checked

Peter Kenigsberg

Peter Kenigsberg

Account Executive

“We didn’t start this company because we liked health insurance,” reads one Oscar subway ad. “Quite the opposite, in fact.” Health insurance is a confounding industry fraught with red tape and mysterious policies. Most businesses add health insurance to an employee’s benefits package, yet the majority of staff would be hard pressed to explain the terms of their plans. This is where health insurance startup Oscar has made a name for itself. By simplifying the health insurance acquisition and retention process, Oscar hopes to create more informed–not to mention healthier–people.

Nutmeg - Oscar - NYC Subway Ads - We didn't start this company because we love health insurance

The Doctor Will See You Now

Oscar speaks its audience’s language as all great brands should. The healthcare company knows how millennials in particular feel about insurance.

  1. With the advent of WebMD and other “self-diagnosis” platforms, health insurance is an expensive burden.
  2. The current insurance model is archaic. The industry is cluttered with endless reams of paperwork.
  3. Consumers spend increasingly more time on mobile. If health insurance information cannot be optimized for a smartphone, users will have a harder time connecting with and understanding their plans.

Each ad finds a “quirky” and pithy way to unpackage these drawbacks as a means of pushing their point of difference to the forefront. From back-breaking bear hugs to text messages of problematic emojis, Oscar is on a mission to help find “health insurance that makes you feel good. What a change.”

Healthcare Where You Are

The emphasis on mobile is also important. Oscar makes subtle nudges at the importance smartphones play in our lives as tools for connecting to proper health insurance coverage. For instance, “The Doctor Will See You Now” ad features a man taking a picture of his privates with his phone, while “Procrastinators Unite” showcases one woman sitting upside-down on a couch staring at her phone. Bringing this age-old industry to the modern era both an essential step to democratizing coverage and making quality health advice accessible anywhere accidents happen.

Recognition in Design

To the untrained eye, Oscar’s subway ads are simply a blind grab for millennial attention with the use of rounded, well-designed characters. Our Art Director, Aviva Buivid, sees the ads from a different perspective. “The illustration style is cute and unserious at first glance, but you can’t deny that it makes Oscar’s displays much more approachable than your standard fare of health insurance ads.” Even the backgrounds have their own unique calling card. “Most of the ads I have come across in the subways use a signature blue background,” said Buivid. “Even when there was no illustration to accompany the core message, I could still identify the ad as belonging to Oscar thanks to that deep blue.”

Nutmeg - Oscar - NYC Subway Ads - West 4th Hallway

But Wait, There’s More

Upon requesting a quote on Oscar’s website, users are shipped a welcome package for free. The contents could not be more simple. Along with stickers based on their subway ad characters, there are two intuitive packets: “Here’s how everything works,” and “Here’s all the nitty gritty.” Who wouldn’t be delighted to see health insurance spelled out in this humanizing and colorful way? Oscar will win you over with crisp copy and bright colors on the platform, and bring the experience full circle when your health insurance box arrives at the front door.

Nutmeg - Oscar - NYC Subway Ads - Health insurance in a box

Oscar Healthcare Welcome Package

I’ve Got a Fever…

…and the only prescription is more subway ads. Head back to for more great designs underground. Return to

DISCLAIMER: All advertisements seen in post referencing Oscar’s OOH campaign are the property of Oscar. Nutmeg does not assume responsibility for the creative executed by any third parties in service of Oscar. We do not have any affiliation with Oscar or the product and/or service associated with the ads we have reviewed. Nutmeg does not receive any commission from Oscar should you or anyone reading this post find interest in the product and/or service advertised in these campaigns.

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