ICICI Prudential, health insurance and the moral dilemma

By , agencyfaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | January 02, 2008
ICICI Prudential communicates the importance of its health insurance solutions with a quirky animated video spoofing the Bollywood movies of the 1970s

ICICI Prudential & #BANNER1 & # has launched its first viral campaign to promote its health insurance products. The financial services company has rolled out an animated viral video, Beta No. 1 (, which spoofs the 1970s Bollywood era and features an ailing mother and her devoted son in the centre of a moral storm.

The video opens with a doctor telling the hero, Raju (a Bachchan lookalike), that his dying mother is in dire need of medicines. Raju takes the prescription from the doctor, but is distraught to find that his piggy bank has only a coin in it.

Ailing mother

Doctor hands prescription to Raju

Mother bangs him with
bats and pans

He shows her the
ICICI's Life Solutions

Mother apologises, hugs Raju
It's night and raining heavily, but he runs out of the house and returns with the medicines. His surprised mother asks him where he got the money for them. When he doesn't reply, she slaps him dramatically, saying that he must have stolen the money. As the son tries to explain, she hits him with a pan saying that he must have gambled. Her son denies this also, but she then batters him with a bat, saying that he must have sold his books, and that he will never become a doctor now.

Tired of her accusations, Raju shouts, "Maaaaa! Maine chori nahin ki, jua nahin khela, kitaabein nahin bechi... hamare paas ICICI Health Insurance ka full health cover hai." Apologetically, she embraces him, but then, having second thoughts, asks him, "Beta, premium ke paise kahan se aaye?", leaving Raju in a fix once again.

Talking about why ICICI used a humorous viral for the promotion, Sujit Ganguly, senior vice-president, marketing, ICICI, says, "We have always conveyed our message differently from other health insurance products. Most health insurance ads convey negative sentiments. The ICICI brand has never associated itself with negativism (in our ads). Our brand values are optimistic and none of the TVCs have any negative sentiment in them and we have taken that forward through this viral, which is a humorous take on the matter."

The animated video with stereotypical characters and dramatic storyline has been created by interactive agency Contests2win.

The viral, which was launched two weeks ago, has received about 140,000 views till now, according to Raj Menon, COO, Contests2win. On how the viral is being promoted, Menon says, "Virals are seeded and then they take off by themselves. ICICI Prudential Life Insurance seeded the viral to their entire database, and from there, it has picked up like wildfire."

Commenting on why the agency has created yet another Bollywood spoof video, Menon says, "Every marketer knows that Bollywood and cricket rule the roost in India. Bollywood is known for melodrama. It is easy to pick characters and spin a twist in the tale. Users have to forward a viral to make it successful, which is the ultimate test of a viral's success. I don't think it is monotonous as there is no incentive to forward a viral other than the fact that the user actually liked it."

Ganguly adds that ICICI has been actively advertising on online media for the last six months, but declines to share the company's ad spend on the campaign. "We want people to see the viral, have a nice laugh with it, share it with their friends and family and, of course, get the brand message we want to convey," he says.

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