Pooja Yadav

Future Generali’s LGBTQIA+ campaign: Company was prepared for backlash says CMO

Ruchika Malhan Varma talks about the insurance company's latest OOH campaign, its approach towards inclusion and more.

Future Generali India Insurance Company’s latest campaign puts a spotlight on the health insurance needs of LGBTQIA+ members in a live-in relationship. The campaign has been launched on digital and OOH platforms in Mumbai, Delhi, Gurugram, Goa and Bengaluru, and will be live for three weeks. 

Future Generali’s LGBTQIA+ campaign: Company was prepared for backlash says CMO

The company has partnered with two real life, same-sex couples to create content on social media platforms. The campaign demonstrates the company’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, both as an employer as well as insurer. The campaign runs across the central theme of redefining the term ‘family’ to include live-in partners.

“Most brands look at inclusion from the lens of an employer. We wanted to take a step further and felt that the only way to create an impact on society is to embrace inclusion as not just an employer, but also a business/insurer,” says Ruchika Malhan Varma, chief marketing officer, Future Generali.

Future Generali’s LGBTQIA+ campaign: Company was prepared for backlash says CMO

afaqs! spoke to Varma about the OOH campaign, among other things.

Edited excerpts:

What was the initial thought behind this campaign?

The brand is always trying to understand the needs of various communities that it serves. We want to identify, and fill, the gaps with relevant products, from an insurance perspective. LGBTQIA+ is one of the communities we decided to put a spotlight on. 

The brand has used real life couples - Noora and Adhila, and Kabir and Yogi - as the face of its campaign, to create resonance with the community.

Why did the brand take the OOH route for this campaign?

Post-COVID, we observed that the majority of our customers were spending more than half of their day away from their homes, or commuting to work. The brand felt that OOH can become a great medium to gain maximum exposure for its target audience. Through this campaign, the brand is targeting hangout places like malls, restaurants and outdoor venues.

What do consumer insights about this campaign, reveal?

Through this campaign, our brand has garnered encouraging responses. We’ve received 1,000-plus comments, 83% of which are positive. We’ve also received more than 21 million impressions. The campaign was trending on Twitter, and the responses are from not just from LGBTQIA+ members, but also people outside the community. 

In the recent past, there was a similar campaign by FMCG company Dabur. It had to withdraw its ad depicting a same sex couple celebrating the Hindu festival of ‘Karva Chauth’. Do you have any measures in place for such things?

The brand has had multiple discussions around this. We felt that we were going to continue with the campaign, despite backlash. At the end of the day, a campaign like this could have multiple responses. Our brand was ready for negative responses too, but those were far and few between. We do have a plan of action when it comes to dealing with such things.

What is your overall marketing plan for the year ahead?

From a media perspective, the brand is quite active on digital, social media and OTT platforms. Over the last few years, we have been on a journey to build a brand which is based on cultural fuel, backed by offerings that fulfil real need gaps. 

Rather than taking the traditional route of fear psychosis, the brand believes in selling hope. It believes in right ‘brain’ marketing and has been making bold moves via its campaigns. Some of these moves include conversations about mental health, creating an insurance category for pet parents, and even launching a rap song to earn return on health.

With these campaigns, Future Generali is trying to build a brand with purpose.

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