HDFC Life: Standing tall

By Prachi Srivastava , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | February 12, 2015
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The insurance brand has released a three-minute long ad film portrays how a man plays an important role in empowering his family to live 'Apne dum pe, Sar Utha ke'.

HDFC Life, for over a decade now, has been promoting the core thought 'Sar Utha Ke Jiyo'. Taking the message to the next level, the insurance brand has rolled-out an ad film that portrays how a man plays an important role in empowering his family to live 'Apne Dum pe, Sar Utha ke'.

The three-minute long film narrates the story of a father who helps his young daughter, who has an artificial leg, realise her dream of becoming a dancer. The film takes the audiences through a journey on how every time she would go for her dance practice, her father would tie the ghunghroo. While she would promise her father that she will tie it herself, she would be reluctant to do so. The video shows how the father works on instilling self-belief and creating strong emotional and physical confidence in his daughter.


It is only after the grandmother tells the father that he'll not be with her always, he decides to stop tying her ghungroo. On the day of the dance show, the little girl is seen waiting on stage with ghungroos in her hand, waiting for her father to arrive and tie it for her. The father goes backstage and encourages her to stay composed and tie it herself, which she does. The girl, stands on her own feet, fights the odds stacked against her and gives a great performance. The credit, ofcourse, goes to the father who constantly motivated her to push her boundaries.

Conceptualised and created by Leo Burnett, the film is directed by renowned filmmaker Vikramaditya Motwane.

Sanjay Tripathy

Commenting on the film, Sanjay Tripathy, senior EVP - marketing, products, digital and e-commerce, HDFC Life, says that the idea was to redefine the proposition of leading with dignity and pride.

According to Tripathy, a research conducted by HDFC Life revealed that a man plays an empowering role in making his family become self-reliant and helping them live with their heads held high. "What we have captured is more than the financial independence. We wanted to portray how instrumental he is in ensuring that his family lives with self respect, as he passes on those values to his other family members. It's him who has given them emotional independence," he explains.

That, precisely, was the brief that was given to the agency.

The ad film, which is being played on the digital platform and on television, has very few dialoguesand is backed by Hanif Shaikh's background score which adds depth to the father's emotions towards his daughter.

Raj Deepak Das

Raj Deepak Das, COO, Leo Burnett says that the intention was not to highlight the fact that the girl is handicapped, but to portray a father-daughter relationship that is inspired from real-life stories. "It is a simple human and purposeful story, of a father's way of teaching his daughter to live with pride," he says.

The high-point of the film, Das points out, was when the daughter gets down to tie her own ghungroo. "That's what we wanted to show - how dad teaches daughter what to do. Everything else in the film was a build-up for that one moment. And it is not fiction. It happens in reality. As far as the length of the film is concerned, we are a nation that watches entertainment in a lonegr format and we don't question it as far as it is entertaining and interesting," Das avers.

HDFC Life has plans of taking this new campaign to the customer through different platforms and intensify the brand experience. Apart from television, this film will be supported by other media such as print, radio, OOH, DTH and cinema, with significant focus on digital and social media.

On television, the film is running on English entertainment, news, movie genres as well as on high-impact properties on Hindi GECs.


Jayanto Banerjee

Sudhir Nair

Jayanto Banerjee, national planning director, Hakuhodo Percept, finds the film heartwarming and touching. He shares, "It is a lovely story, very well told. A great story will break through every time, no matter how cluttered the environment. The brand recall for such films is usually high. While there is always the danger of the story overpowering the brand, I don't think that will be the case here."

Sudhir Nair, SVP and head, Digital, Grey Worldwide, believes that since there are so many insurance brands launching TVCs at this time, the HDFC Life film could have got lost in the clutter, but the narrative is good and appealing.

Having said that, of late, brands have started featuring differently-abled protagonists. The Birla Sun Life TVC which features an autistic boy and the Nescafe ad centered on a man who stammers, being two examples. Nair believes that this is a growing trend because we tend to sympathise. "We all like to see people overcoming challenges and winning in the end. In such cases, it makes it even more emotional and we tend to remember," he states.

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