Max Life Insurance: Precious Second Chances

By Saumya Tewari , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | February 05, 2015
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The insurance company's digital campaign narrates two heart-wrenching, real stories of life trumping death, giving the survivor a 'second chance'.

Insurance ads have come a long way - from scaring consumers to shaking them up and educating them on the importance of securing theirs and loved ones' future, because no one is immortal after all. A digital campaign, aptly titled 'Second Chance', by Max Life Insurance takes the oft-repeated execution of insurance advertising, with a high scare quotient.

Created by Ogilvy & Mather, the campaign comprises two four-minute long videos featuring people narrating how they got a second chance in their lives when their family member came out of a life-threatening medical condition. The digital campaign strategy and execution have been done by FlyingCursor. Paul Joji Kokkat of Carnival Films has directed the videos.

Max Life Insurance Shalabh's #SecondChance campaign

Max Life Insurance Dr Raj Anand's #SecondChance campaign

Anisha Motwani

"The intent of this campaign is to create awareness about financial protection," says Anisha Motwani, director and CMO, Max Life Insurance.

As per the Max Life and Nielsen India May 2014 research on knowledge and attitude of internet users on insurance and protection, life insurance was the most searched financial product online, although 50 per cent people buy life Insurance for investment. The study conducted on over a thousand people across metros and other cities indicate that consumers still feel that the offline mode of purchasing policies (through agents) gives higher assurance and better credibility.

The study further pointed out that internet users in north India showed concerns about the absence of a seller (agent), while those in the eastern and southern regions were more apprehensive about the lack of (post-purchase) customer support.

"This campaign is an endeavour to reach out to these people," adds Motwani defining the TG as salaried, businessmen/self-employed people, between 28-45 years of age, with an income ranging from Rs 5 lacs to 25 lacs and upwards.

Motwani points out that the biggest marketing challenge is talking about 'death', which is culturally a taboo, apart from low financial literacy and priority to buy Online Term Plan.

The company claims to have sold 16000+ Online Term Plan policies online, ever since its launch in November 2013.

Ajay Gahlaut

The brief to the agency, says Ajay Gahlaut, executive creative director, Ogilvy & Mather, Delhi, was "derived from the insight that people always think that they are fit, healthy and doing fine in life. Nothing will happen to them. Such things always happen to 'someone else'."

Gahlaut believes that, often, deeply emotional stories are hard to part with. According to him the challenge of shooting with real people about a tragic event in their life is to get people to open up and willingly share details about their private lives.

"Second, casting real people also gets tough, since not everyone can emote easily," he adds.

The digital-only campaign is being heavily promoted on social media through Facebook and Twitter (#IfIHadASecondChance), and also on a website where consumers can view videos, get inspired from stories of real people who have had near-death experiences, submit their own #secondchance stories and, most importantly, take steps to protect their family.

Max Life is also utilising digital influencers and bloggers to guide, inspire and urge people to protect those they love.


Experts believe that while the campaigns hit the right spot and make consumers realise how ephemeral life is, a constant conversation over social media will help achieve the purpose of the campaign.

Sachin Burma

Divyapratap Mehta

Appreciating the campaign, Sachin Burma, group creative director, FCB Ulka Advertising, points out that 'Second Chance' is a fresh way to sell the same old story of how 'for granted' we take life.

He adds that taking real people has brought out the emotions really well. "People will surely think about a medical insurance policy, but don't think they will be so specific about Max Life," he adds. Burma believes that the campaign is a tad predictable and that the company could have executed only one video.

According to him, celebrating the 'Second Chance' can be an alternative way of execution.

To Divyapratap Mehta, former national planning director, Publicis Capital, the story of Dr. Raj Anand is intriguing, delivering the message clearly yet softly.

"It's a one-video campaign; I am not sure people would like to watch another video with a similar message," he says, adding that the real-life stories, rendered in a manner that show the hope and power of insurance, is an interesting experiment.

The campaign is aimed at category creation and Max Life is not the biggest player in the category. It could certainly help all players and maybe Max Life could gain a bit more than the others. "But, certainly, they could gain from some earned media," he predicts.

Mehta believes that the impact of the campaign will be amplified if the brand focusses more on user generated content/ stories and a forum where real people share their stories on real videos made by them, facilitated by Max Life. "Then it would turn into a real, trending people's movement," he suggests.

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