'Ray of Hope': HDFC Life Cancer Care

By Ashee Sharma , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | August 11, 2015
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Celebrity cancer survivor Lisa Ray shares her story of emotional and financial struggle with the disease, in an ad for HDFC Life's new product, Cancer Care.

HDFC Life has launched a campaign for its latest service offering HDFC Life Cancer Care. The campaign touches upon the importance of being financially prepared, and continuing to live and fight with pride, should cancer ever strike.

The ad, featuring celebrity cancer survivor Lisa Ray, gives out the message that to win the cancer battle, it takes more than just emotional strength. It needs financial preparedness too. Strikingly different from the communication employed by HDFC and health and life insurance category in general, the TVC is a monologue with minimalist advertising. It's honest and practical.

Raj Deepak Das

Sanjay Tripathy

Justifying the need for such an execution, Raj Deepak Das, CCO, Leo Burnett, the agency behind the ad, says, "In a situation where there is lack of money to undergo cancer treatment, the pain and the emotional trauma is much severe. The idea was to reflect this thought by engaging with consumers on an emotional platform. Real life stories inspire us. We, therefore, decided to feature Lisa Ray and underline the importance of money in fighting the life threatening disease. She is a perfect fit as her positive attitude and self-belief resonates well with the brand philosophy of 'Sar Utha Ke Jiyo'."

In India, approximately one million new cases of cancer are reported every year. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the country, and the incidence of the disease will increase by 54 per cent by 2030, informs Sanjay Tripathy, senior EVP, marketing, products, digital and e-commerce, HDFC Life.

On the rationale behind the launch of this product, he adds, "With less than five per cent of it linked to heredity, cancer is mostly unpredictable and everybody is at an equal risk of developing it. The treatment can cost anything between Rs. 3 - 25 lakh and we need to realise that the financial aspect of the fight is the only thing one can have control on. In many instances, out-of-pocket expenditure for treatment of cancer means household savings are wiped out or families go into debt for their lifetime. Our new campaign emphasises on the fact that being financially prepared is now easy with HDFC Life Cancer Care."

Apart from television, the campaign will be supported by other media such as print, outdoor, cinema and digital. #RayOfHope, a play on the celebrity's name, will be used to run social media engagement. Two digital ads, 'My father, my support system - Lisa Ray' and 'Lisa's first reaction on being diagnosed with cancer' have also been uploaded on the official YouTube channel. As the campaign picks up, the company will also explore tie-ups with leading hospitals.

HDFC Life Cancer Care was launched by the insurance major approximately two months back, and as per the company's claim, 50, 000 policies have already been sold. With the encouraging response, it was decided to weave a campaign around the product, to generate more awareness. Currently, very few insurance companies and financial/medical institutions provide cover for the fatal disease. These include ICICI's Cancer Care Plus, National Insurance plus CPAA (Cancer Patients Aid Association) Cancer Insurance Policy and National Insurance plus ICS (Indian Cancer Society) Cancer Insurance Policy, which offer a maximum assured sum of Rs. 25 lakh, five lakh and two lakh, respectively.

Tripathy differentiates his product saying that it provides a fixed lump sum benefit on diagnosis of early and major stages of cancer, waives future premiums and also pays regular income on diagnosis for treatment of cancer.

The plan also has an indexation option whereby the sum assured increases by 10 per cent every year. Priced with a Rs. 20 lakh cover for a period of 20 years, it is available to a 35-year-old male for a premium of less than Rs.1, 800 annually, and is eligible for tax benefits as well.

Established in 2000, HDFC Life is a joint venture between Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited (HDFC), India's leading housing finance institution, and Standard Life plc, a provider of financial services in the United Kingdom. It a long-term life insurance solutions provider offering a range of individual and group insurance solutions that meet various customer needs such as protection, pension, savings, investment, and health. The company also offers women's plans to meet specific needs of women.

Customers have the added advantage of customising plans, by adding optional benefits called riders, at a nominal price. The company currently has 28 retail and eight group products in its portfolio, along with 10 riders. HDFC Life claims to have a wide reach with over 400 branches in India, touching customers in over 900 cities and towns.

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