Ananya Pathak

Canara HSBC OBC Life Insurance portrays wives as superstitious...

In its new digital campaign, Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance speaks of superstitious 'difficult conversations'.

Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance recently launched its new digital campaign - #PromiseBatao. The two films – 'Difficult Conversations' and 'No call from Heaven' - released as a part of the campaign, put the spotlight on the importance of having conversations on sensitive subjects like family, future planning and ‘unforeseen events’ with our loved ones, topics which are usually difficult to address. The films have been ideated and executed by Leo Burnett.

The campaign showcases couples from different walks of life trying to converse about the uncertainty of life and attempting to convince their families on how imperative it is to know plans made for the future, in case of any unforeseen life event. In a humorous way, both films take a satirical look at the orthodox Indian way of not talking about life uncertainties at home. The company offers a solution - that customers keep all their important financial papers at one place – in the 'Promise Box' - thereby easing conversations with their partners.

However, unlike its previous campaign - #PromiseKiyaAbPlanKaro – where the wife is seen in the 'promising' position, the latest campaign puts her in the role across the table – as the one who is superstitious.

In a press release issued by the brand, Anuj Mathur, managing director and chief executive officer, Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance, mentions that the campaign aims to educate people about the importance of having life insurance and also communicate with their family members about its benefits in times of need.

Tarannum Hasib, chief distribution officer, Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance, says, "Amongst many promises we make to our loved ones, the promise of protecting them by investing in a life insurance policy is mostly taken for granted and not discussed about. It is a known fact that a large number of policies go unclaimed every year, simply because there is a lack of communication between the policyholder and their families."

She adds, "In India, we still shy away from talking about unexpected turns and unfortunate events with regards to our life. With our #PromiseBatao campaign, our aim is to change this discomfort and urge people to step out to comfort their loved ones by sharing their 'promise' to protect them for life. We believe this will benefit policyholders nationwide and help in positively impacting the industry at large."

Arjuna Gaur, executive creative director, Leo Burnett, shares with us that the client's brief was to have a campaign that wouldn’t be a typical insurance campaign but would start a movement that benefits the entire insurance industry, and more importantly, the customers.

Arjuna Gaur
Arjuna Gaur

About the campaign ideation, he says, “We aimed at creating a strong piece of communication that not only builds value for the brand but also shares a strong social message. While searching for insights, we came across an astonishing fact. Every year, thousands of life insurance policies go unclaimed because people are uncomfortable to talk to their dear ones about such matters. We realised that this is behaviour that needs to be to changed.”

“Keeping in mind the core of the brand, 'that every insurance policy is a promise fulfilled', we landed on #PromiseBatao - a campaign that urges people to keep all their financial and insurance papers in a single place and inform their loved ones about them,” he adds.

Commenting on the idea and execution of the campaign, Pradyumna Chauhan, creative consultant (former McCann Worldgroup, Ogilvy, JWT), says the copy of the film is decent. He feels that the brand is picking up topics around the unspoken to provoke consumers to start conversations around them. However, he opines that being a subsidiary brand, it should initially work on the familiarity aspect of the brand name rather than its offerings.

Pradyumna Chauhan
Pradyumna Chauhan

“As an insurance company, the motive should be to first grab enough market share and communicate on the lines of why consumers should insure with you.”

He also suggests that the hashtag used by the brand could have been better. “If you get the hashtag right, half the problem is solved. I am not sure #PromiseBatao does the job. If you are approaching a subject where you want to educate or disrupt a bit, then you can have a proper asset in a hashtag.”

He personally does not appreciate long format ads if the same message is elongated to fit into it. “I like the shorter part of it better. The message is very pointed. Given the short attention span of consumers, short formats work the best,” he points out.