Coverfox's YouTube pre-rolls and web banners chase netizens into renewing their insurance

By Sunit Roy , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | July 12, 2016
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This call-to-action, humour-laden digital campaign has been created by BBH.

When was the last time you surfed for a certain something on an e-commerce portal, didn't purchase it, but found the item 'following' you around online, over the next few weeks?

Giving boring email/telephonic reminders a skip, online insurance portal (vehicle, health, travel, and life) took this very concept to create an interesting digital campaign around it.

Titled 'Coverfox Videobomber' (with good reason!), the recently launched, ongoing campaign comprises customised ads that virtually 'follow' netizens around across the web pages they browse - all in a bid to remind them to renew their insurance. It is 'customised' because the ads are specifically targetted at people who visited, but didn't get around to renewing their insurance.

Coverfox Re-targeting campaign

Created by BBH India, the ads include 10 YouTube pre-rolls (each of which is 6.5 seconds-long), as well as web banners. (Displayed in this article is a composite video comprising the microfilms and examples of the web banners).

Coverfox Re-targeting campaign

Coverfox Re-targeting campaign

In the video, a Coverfox employee vows to place reminders all over the internet, in order to help customers catch their deadline. These reminder ads then show up in popular videos all through the week, each time the customer visits YouTube.

Coverfox Re-targeting campaign

Coverfox Re-targeting campaign

Some may call it online 'stalking' because the ads practically take over the internet experience of the target consumers, and they sure appear to be hard to ignore.

Jaimit Doshi

Russell Barrett

Jaimit Doshi, chief marketing officer,, says, "Consumers are exposed to several communication messages every day, and insurance as a sector, is no different. The task was, therefore, to ensure that we reach out to our audience in an innovative way which results in action. In true Coverfox style, we thought why not make it a bit fun. And, we chose YouTube as a medium because that's where people go for fun and light browsing."

The campaign will be active through the month of July.

Russell Barrett, managing partner and chief creative officer, BBH India, says, "Since our objective was to remind people, and not to advertise a feature, we chose to create videos that were virtually unskippable. We kept them short enough to deliver the entire message within 6.5 seconds."

Experts call this technique 're-targetting'. Adds Barrett, "As soon as the idea was conceived, we realised that we were at a place where traditional rules don't apply. Our single-minded objective was to surprise people."

About the process, he says, "We went through trending topics and viral videos that have been popular in India over the past two years. While we were tempted to make many more videos, we carefully chose the ones that could grab the most attention. And, in order to heighten the surprise, we only chose those videos that couldn't pass off as TV commercials," Barrett recalls.

The toughest part, Barrett says, was "culling it down to 10 films; if we could, we would have made 50 more."

Can 'consumer-stalking' be cool?

Campaigns like these can oscillate between cool and creepy. A look at what our digital experts say about it.

Nimesh Shah

Sudhir Nair

Nimesh Shah, head maven, Windchimes Communications, a digital agency, says, "We all know advertising relies on exaggeration to ensure better registration of the brand with the consumer. I consider slapstick as exaggerated humour, and which is what the brand (Coverfox) has relied on to communicate the message."

Can digital campaigns like these offend netizens? Sudhir Nair, managing director - digital, Omnicom Media Group, says, "Advertising is meant to be disruptive, yet we consume what appeals to us. Online video advertising is no different. However, if you are powering it with some data intelligence, based on what one has just consumed or historically consumed, it will be all the more relevant."

To Nair, this campaign makes the best use of the insights that the brand team may have had at its disposal and has used the most effective format - video.

"If one finds it disruptive, there is always an Alt-Tab," Nair says.

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