Ubaid Zargar

ICICI Lombard’s new ad film reenacts popular gaming franchise Grand Theft Auto

The film, created by Ogilvy India, draws similarities between a virtual game and real life.

The insurance category often tends to rely heavily on appeals to emotions, prioritising themes of safety, security, and protection. While these are undoubtedly crucial aspects of insurance messaging, the predominant approach has often lacked a certain degree of creative flair.

Not with ICICI Lombard, it appears. The insurance company has launched an integrated media campaign named Game of Life. The concept combines the excitement of gaming with the practicality of insurance, aiming to resonate deeply with the digitally savvy younger generation.

Departing from the conventional strategies of celebrity endorsements or traditional marketing techniques, this campaign takes a fresh approach by leveraging the appeal of virtual gaming. The campaign's centrepiece is an engaging film set in a virtual gaming world reminiscent of popular games like Grand Theft Auto (GTA), featuring a third-person perspective and health points (HP) system.

The protagonist navigates through the virtual world, with his health bar representing his vitality. Every poor decision he makes diminishes his HP, culminating in a tragic outcome when he is involved in an accident, resulting in his health bar dropping to zero.

At the heart of the campaign is a plot that mirrors real-life challenges within a gaming interface. The protagonist's life or power bar fluctuates in response to his experiences, symbolically illustrating how life's obstacles, such as illness or accidents, can drain one's finances and well-being, thus emphasising the importance of insurance coverage.

The campaign seeks to position ICICI Lombard not just as an insurance provider but as a vital ally in helping individuals navigate life's hurdles. It portrays the company as the 'power button', safeguarding individuals' well-being and resilience in the face of adversity.

Given the widespread popularity and cultural impact of the Grand Theft Auto franchise, the buzz surrounding GTA 6’s recent trailer could boost the visibility and relevance of ICICI Lombard's Game of Life campaign. As the campaign draws inspiration from the gaming world, the timing couldn't be more opportune, with Rockstar's upcoming release capturing the attention of a vast audience of gamers. 

The synergy between the themes explored in the GTA franchise and ICICI Lombard's innovative approach to insurance could further pique interest among gaming enthusiasts, potentially leading to increased engagement and awareness for the campaign.

The insurance category in India faces a significant challenge with a penetration rate estimated at just 4%, indicating a substantial portion of the population remains underinsured. This statistic underscores the pressing need for major players within the insurance sector to intensify their efforts in driving awareness and attracting consumers. With a vast potential market yet to be tapped, insurers must innovate and engage with consumers effectively to bridge this gap in coverage. ICICI Lombard's new creative ad campaign represents a step in the right direction.

Speaking on the campaign, Sheena Kapoor, head of marketing, corporate communications and CSR, ICICI Lombard, says, "We are really excited about this new campaign. In our constant endeavour for innovation, the campaign is an original and disruptive take with a unique narrative and tonality inspired from gaming world and gaming characters. The central theme being the game of life is wrought with uncertainties and urges the viewer to stay protected and ‘revive’ oneself with ICICI Lombard’s insurance solutions. By putting the characters in a game-like scenario, we created a relatable story combining situations from real-life to communicate how life can be enhanced when you have apt protection shield in place. Gamification was not just merely a creative choice, but a strategic endeavour to engage with the audiences, especially the younger generation to help them appreciate the value of insurance early in life."

Talha Bin Mohsin and Mahesh Parab, who are the executive creative director at Ogilvy, say in a joint statement, “If our lives weren't complicated enough, the pace at which our everyday world is evolving makes each day of ours a little more unpredictable. A lot like a video game. This observation is what led us to a unique execution which captured the vulnerability of our lives today. Stressing the natural need for a higher level of protection which comes effortlessly to an insurance giant like ICICI Lombard with its innovative suite of insurance products. Almost making ICICI Lombard the Respawn button of our lives.”

Have news to share? Write to us atnewsteam@afaqs.com