A look at the five-minute-long film.
ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company recently rolled out a new digital campaign, 'Agar taiyaari sahi ho, toh jeet pakki hai'. This is the second ad under the theme. In the first phase of the campaign, the insurance brand focused on how the right financial preparation can ensure getting the claim amount as soon as the illness is detected. Making it easier, to handle major illnesses such as heart disease.
The new ad film - shot at Dharamshala - highlights the journey of a domestic league's football coach as he deals with his team while battling cancer head on. For such an illness, the road to recovery is long and expensive, and the high treatment costs can be a huge concern. At such a time, getting the claim amount before treatment begins enables one to get the best possible medical treatment and fight the disease.
Readers would remember Bollywood movie, 'Chak De! India', starring, Shah Rukh Khan as the coach of the Indian women's hockey team. He is hated by most of the players in the first half of the movie; only in the second half do the teammates understand his ways of coaching and eventually win the World Cup. Many ads in the recent past have played with the sports theme to show how grit and determination in difficult times bring about a happy ending.
We asked Arun Iyer, chairman and chief creative officer, Lowe Lintas, if the theme about a coach and his players' on field relations is an overdone theme. He says, "Yes it's been done. In the same way even mother-son, mother-daughter themes have been done and done right! These are relationships and it's the context in which you use them that makes it the right choice."
Has ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company decided to do more digital ads than TV? Iyer says, "They have not given up on any medium it is just about what is right at that time for the product. I think in this case, it is more about targeted marketing because you know the kind of people who would probably opt for this."
The ad, which was released on the brand's YouTube channel on August 17, has garnered 3,24,696 views whereas on the brand's Facebook page, the ad has got eight million views.
The film is focused on story telling more than the product features. Talking about the reason behind this, the insurance company's spokesperson says, "It was a conscious decision. It is a story telling platform and we wanted to show the benefits that can be integrated in the life of the person and wanted our audience to feel the whole emotion."
Adding about how the brand measures the return on investments post a digital campaign, the spokesperson says, "The ROI comes through the digital ads or physical channel; it is always a subject of a complexed debate. It is a mixture of how many people have seen and what their engagement level is. We add certain parameters such as, visits to the site, etc. There is always an eye on the ROI and we adjust the ROI as per the creative and the medium."
The brand's core target audience is SEC A and B, male and female, 18 years and above from urban cities.
As far as communication and messaging goes, the insurance segment, both health and life, has churned out soppy ad after soppy ad over the past few months, if not years!
We asked our digital expert if this was a 'category hazard' that couldn't be escaped or do marketers in this segment need to hit refresh. Also, where does this ad stand - on the soppy quotient? Does it serve to lift the segment, as it were?
Kartikeya Tiwari, director, strategy, Social Kinnect, says, "I think it's unfair to look at ads in the category and label them 'soppy'. The insurance category has seen a lot of emotional ads over the years. The good ones that touched a chord have done well and the others not so much. Is everyone doing soppy work? I don't think so. I don't think this is a category hazard. Emotional ads have been seen to do well time and again. I do feel that this is the apt time to experiment with unique stories and different emotional spaces. People always respond to a story told well. And in this clutter of brands and advertising, people do notice something that is different or unique."
In the Indian ad-land, the most common way to portray grit, courage and determination is through a sports analogy, like in this case... or through two other themes - women beating the odds and fighting against society or a person with a physical shortcoming overcoming obstacles. Is this because our social reality is best reflected through these themes or because marketers and agencies are not experimenting enough?
Tiwari says, "I don't think our social reality is best reflected by these three themes. We have to look at popular stories and the storytellers of our times. Almost all of them have been playing to this formula since the past few years. I feel this boils down to the creative community not experimenting enough. Not to take anything away from the ICICI Pru film, it's a nice story. But in the times of the internet and free flow of opinions, these three themes are a safe zone to play within. That explains why agencies and marketers aren't experimenting more."
The coach-team relationship, and the love and camaraderie therein, is one people are all too familiar with - as a theme, it has been exploited in popular culture (movies, especially) often. Does an ad hinged on such a common theme make sense? Conversely, will the viewers' familiarity with the theme help the brand?
Tiwari adds, "As a theme and story it makes perfect sense. In fact, in insurance, we usually see stories revolving around family so this was a bit refreshing. The only thing that I would probably debate is the duration of the film."
Client: ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company
Client team: Puneet Nanda, Manish Dubey, Ashish Nair, Namrata Ginwala, Sohini Sen
Agency: Lowe Lintas
Creative: Arun Iyer, Narendra Yadav, Vijay Assudani
Account Management: Shantanu Sapre, Vivek Parasuraman, Pushkaar Kshirsagar, Priyam Katakia
Planning: Aditi Patwardhan, Gursimran Singh
Production House (Director): LinProductions (Shlok Sharma)
A look at some of the old ads by ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company