Aug 9, 2008

Mktg - Advertising for insurance products come of age

In a category where an emotional pitch is often made by the advertiser, here?s a turnaround of sorts. Life insurance, which was hitherto sold through a rather guilt-inducing ?buy me? proposition, is now being pushed differently.

Take for example Contract Advertising?s intrigue-building campaign for Aegon Religare Life Insurance, a new entrant in the life insurance category. Prior to its launch, the agency ran a week-long teaser campaign across the country. The ads featuring actor Irfan Khan warned people against KILB, an abbreviation which was later revealed was short for ?Kum Insurance Lene Ki Bimaari.?
Aegon Religare chose to use underinsurance as the differentiator, almost to the point of calling it a bimaari (disease). Raghu Bhat and Manish Bhatt, executive creative directors at Contract Advertising, said AIDS or cancer kills only the infected person. ?But underinsurance can ruin the entire family.?
Aegon Religare said their research provided an insight into how people usually didn?t remember their exact insured amount or how much they were paying as premium. Rajiv Jamkhedkar, CEO, Aegon Religare Life Insurance, said, ?There is usually a huge gap between the lifestyle that people lead and the lifestyle that their insurance covers.?
The Rs 10 crore campaign will be unveiled across the country over the next six weeks and will include television, radio, internet and outdoor ads.
The call-to-action TVCs and hoardings that were unveiled to the public on Friday urge people to call a toll-free-number to know about the ?right amount? that they should invest for getting a life insurance cover. Aegon will take into consideration the consumer?s current lifestyle, expenses, family size and other factors to determine the amount.
Like Aegon Religare, other insurers are also striving to be different in their brand communication.
Max New York Life and Sahara Life Insurance have also taken a different approach in their brand-building activities. Incidentally, both play on the common theme of fear in their ads, albeit in totally opposite ways.
Euro RSCG created a campaign called ?Sanju? for Max New York Life, wherein it stressed on the fact that problems always arrived unannounced and so one has to be prepared.
Percept/H, on the other hand, doesn?t make any attempt to sell Sahara Life Insurance?s products directly through its ads Aatm Vishvaas ki Nayi Taaqat. Instead, the ad shows a rather meek-looking man challenging Gabbar Singh, the meanest of Bollywood baddies. The agency?s aim was to convey that even an ordinary person could gain extraordinary confidence and fearlessness by taking an insurance cover.
?The message we wanted to convey was that whatever situation you are in life, your self-confidence will see you through,? Anurag Chhabra, VP, Percept/H Lucknow, said. ?Most insurance players target only metros. Our target audience is rural areas, especially the states like Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, wherein penetration of top 10 insurance players is less. It is important to realise that insurance is generally sold over the table. Advertising is largely a brand building exercise.?
These new creative approaches summon a refreshing change from the conventional insurance pitches that only spoke about the importance of buying an insurance product, even to the point of making the audience guilty for not having bought one yet. In a category where product differentiators are hard to spot, ad agencies till now have only tweaked emotions to create campaigns for insurance firms.

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