An actor who played the role of a financial scamster in Scam 1992 now promotes a financial instrument. Unusual casting or not?
A recent HDFC Life ad compares buying life insurance to buying a shirt. It says if we don’t compromise on the shirt size then why should we compromise on the life insurance value? An unusual comparison right? Even more unusual is the casting choice for the ad. It features Pratik Gandhi of Scam 1992 fame.
One wonders if he has been chosen for his popularity due to the web series. If that is the case, isn’t it strange to cast an actor who played the role of a financial scamster to promote a financial instrument? All the more when his most popular dialogue from the show is 'Risk hai toh Ishq hai"- a very contrary idea to life insurance that offers security and safety from uncertain risks.
Moreover, it is almost two years since the release of the show on Sony Liv. Though Gandhi’s role and portrayal of Harshad Mehta is still vividly remembered by his fans, the show’s popularity has waned over time.
The other possible reason could be his recent show The Great Indian Murder. Coincidentally (or maybe not) the ad and the Disney+Hotstar show launched on the same date. The ad could be banking on the mileage garnered from the show. But Gandhi’s portrayal of the shopkeeper has strong remnants of Harshad Mehta, in his speech, style and mannerisms. This makes it hard to see Gandhi in any other form.
Though Gandhi acted in a couple of films and a web series after the success of Scam 1992, none were as successful as the web show and failed to create a mark in the audience's mind. Even today Gandhi is largely remembered for his first web series.
Speaking of the ad, #adhuraNahiPuraInsurance promotes its feature HDFC Life Human Life Value Calculator to know the right payout one should aim for when choosing a term plan. The ad reminds customers to not compromise on their life insurance. It says if we do not compromise on other aspects of life then why do it for insurance.
HDFC Life regularly brings out such communications to create greater awareness about life insurance. In 2019 its ad film ‘Bounce back to Life’ featured real-life survivor stories to showcase the need for term insurance to financially protect one's family and loved ones when faced with unforeseen circumstances.
Last year, its #KaroPooriTaiyaari campaign communicated that the best way to take care of one’s responsibilities in uncertain times is through timely and strategic financial planning.
Later in the year, its campaign 'Retire On Your Own Terms' nudged consumers to plan for their and their spouse’s financial freedom post-retirement, in a timely manner.