Alokananda Chakraborty

MetLife aims at emotional appeal

Executives of MetLife, the No 1 insurer in the US based on $2.1 trillion of life insurance in force, are in Mumbai to shoot for a campaign involving two special effects commercials

Imagine a newborn talking to his father about the importance of education planning or a one-year-old toddler enunciating the virtues of retirement planning. Sounds implausible? Well, the storyboard of a new TV campaign for MetLife, the No 1 insurer in the US based on $2.1 trillion of life insurance in force, focuses precisely on these situations, bringing them alive with the help of complicated special effects, the forte of Tim Recter, supervising special effects director on Matrix Reloaded, the Keanu-Reeves starrer released recently.

Recter along with Mark Lapwood, the director of photography and director on the campaign, as well as Aniket Shirke (also involved in direction), and executives of the New York-headquartered insurance company are down in Mumbai to shoot the commercials. The production house executing the project is Bangalore-based Nomad Films, which is headed by Amitabh Bhattacharya who was earlier with McCann-Erickson, Bangalore, as creative director. "These special effects are common abroad, but have never been employed in India," he says. "Actually having an infant or a toddler talking like a grown-up is a complicated special effects job and Recter will focus on executing it."

Targeted at the South Asian community in the USA, the campaign is emotionally appealing, says Bhattacharya. "There is a definite message going across to the South Asian community inhabiting the US landscape."

In the last one year, Bhattacharya has had 10 MetLife films on air under his supervision and the current project, technically speaking, is the first big assignment for Nomad, which was set up six months ago. "We haven't really explored the Indian market, work on MetLife has kept us busy," he says.

MetLife or Metropolitan Life Insurance Company has diversified interests in banking, investments and planning services apart from insurance. The company's origin goes back to the latter half of the nineteenth century when a group of New York City entrepreneurs raised $100,000 to found the National Union Life and Limb Insurance Company. In 1868, MetLife was officially incorporated to sell "ordinary" insurance to the middle class. Since then, it has emerged as a significant player in the insurance sector spreading its tentacles far and wide.

Today the MetLife companies serve approximately 12 million individuals in the US as well as 88 of the Fortune 100 companies. The India subsidiary of MetLife now has offices in nine cities and an additional 1,000 outreach points through its channel partners.

The current campaign is set to hit the air in the US sometime in August-September this year. Though shooting will take place in India, post-production work will be carried out in Australia. © 2003 agencyfaqs!

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