Devina Joshi

MetLife helps plan for surprises in the future

The latest TVC of MetLife tries to hook up to consumers with a humorous and emotional connect as they believe people don't listen when preached to

Life is full of surprises, even when you plan it. This is exactly what the insurance company, MetLife, has tried to convey in its latest campaign, which has been created by McCann-Erickson, Bangalore.

Dileep Ashoka, vice-president and general manager, McCann-Erickson, says, “People in India take a simplistic approach to planning their future. There are several aspects that go unnoticed, but life is full of surprises, and MetLife can take care of even these surprises. Our challenge was to deliver this message using a completely different approach.”

Tony Lawrence, creative director, McCann-Erickson, says “Other financial adverts use the premise: If you don’t plan things now, you’re doomed later. But we reversed it: If you plan today, then you’ll have a comfortable tomorrow.”

“People view insurance in a scary light, something to keep handy when calamity strikes. But we positioned it on a pleasant platform: Plan for tomorrow, instead of worrying,” Lawrence adds.

The ‘Triplets’ commercial uses young would-be parents, speculating on whether their firstborn will be a boy or a girl. The first shot opens on the pregnant wife chewing on a raw mango on a swing outside her house (it is often said that an expectant mother feels the urge to eat tangy food). She is startled by her eager-to-please husband who is bringing her a huge basket of raw mangoes, only to end up tripping all over them in his hurry to get to her.

The next shot shows the husband bringing his wife a pair of pyjamas. But when she tries them on, she’s practically floating in them, and they have a good laugh together! Next, the couple is seen at a shop, arguing over whether to buy a pink crib for a baby girl, or another one for a baby boy. They walk away, still confused.

Cut to the next frame, in which the husband holds a large paint brush in each hand. The first one is dipped in blue paint, the other in pink, as he tries to figure out which colour he should use to paint the baby’s nursery. His wife decides to have a little fun at his expense and points first to the blue brush, indicating that the baby will be a boy. When he starts painting the wall, she stops him and points to the pink brush! And then bursts into laughter at her flustered husband, who is as new to this feeling as she is.

The last shot shows the husband in the hospital, anxiously waiting outside the delivery room. The nurse brings him the baby. He holds the child, gently cooing at him. This is when the product is mentioned for the first time, with a male voiceover saying, “MetLife Insurance: Jo plan kiya uske liye (For what you had planned)…” Now here is the clever turning point of the commercial: Two other nurses come to the father, each carrying a baby! The poor father is hopelessly flustered as he can’t hold all three babies together. Having triplets was the last thing he had expected! The voiceover now continues, “Jo plan nahin kiya, uske liye bhi (Even for what you hadn’t planned).” “Apni zindagi mein paaiye MetLife ka saath (All through your life, find MetLife to be your trusted friend).”

How difficult is it to differentiate in a category in which every ad tries the emotional route? Lawrence says, “If you strike an emotional chord with the audience, these things don’t really matter. You don’t have to struggle to be different then. The connect has to be there, though.”

The ads have a rather light, witty and playful approach. Was there any specific reason for this? “The tone of voice is light and playful because the minute you get preachy, people are in no mood to listen,” remarks Ashoka.

The response for the campaign has been good so far. Ashoka says, “The reactions have been positive. The brand is showing a healthy growth.”

© 2005 agencyfaqs!