Sunit Roy
Digital

Apollo Munich encourages people to #NeverGiveUp while fighting cancer

The brand's latest digital campaign is a precursor to Apollo Munich's new cancer-specific plan - 'iCan'.

There is always a balance one must strike when running something on digital, especially on social media, where people watch and share interesting content. If a video has to be viewed until the end, the story has to be powerful and engaging enough. Apollo Munich Health Insurance's latest digital campaign - #NeverGiveUp - features such a film that's both thought-provoking and inspirational. Reminding cancer patients and survivors to keep the fighting spirit alive, the #NeverGiveUp campaign takes viewers through the trials and tribulations that befall cancer patients and their families.

Apollo Munich encourages people to #NeverGiveUp while fighting cancer

Apollo Munich's #NeverGiveUp campaign

The #NeverGiveUp campaign is a precursor to the launch of Apollo Munich's new cancer-specific plan - iCan. It's quite possible that after becoming emotionally invested in the story for over three minutes, viewers will not shy away from the brand message. In fact, the ad provides some much-needed closure and a sense that here is something that will help people not to give up.

"While iCan will give patients and their families financial security, our new digital campaign is an endeavour to give them emotional strength and remind them to #NeverGiveUp as the battle against cancer can be long and hard," says Dr Nandini Ali, chief marketing officer, Apollo Munich Health Insurance.

Apollo Munich encourages people to #NeverGiveUp while fighting cancer

Dr Nandini Ali

Apollo Munich encourages people to #NeverGiveUp while fighting cancer

Ullas Chopra

"One of the first casualties of this (cancer) battle can be giving up on hope through the long process of treatment. '#NeverGiveUp' is a beautiful reminder of finding a smile in the most unexpected places. Through this campaign, we not only aim to create awareness about cancer in society but also give people the strength to deal with it," Ali adds.

The heart-warming video is of a mother and her son, whose father is suffering from cancer and is hospitalised. The campaign has been written and conceptualised by Triton Communications and is produced by Keroscene films.

The brand intends to take the #NeverGiveUp idea forward with more affirmative videos and conversations as well as through on-ground activations.

Speaking about the insight on which the campaign is based, Ullas Chopra, national creative director - Triton Communications, says, "Battle, Fight, Conquer - are the words often used when it comes to cancer. It is seen as a unique disease that's not about 'managing' but a fight for survival. The most important thing in this fight is 'Hope' - belief and faith are key. This is what naturally led us to the creative idea - to inspire and make people believe that the fight can be won. It emerged from the product name itself - iCan, a reaffirmation of faith."

iCan, a lifelong renewable cancer insurance plan, covers all kinds and stages of cancer starting from detection to treatment - hospitalisation, outpatient or even advanced therapies like Proton. It also covers stages of remission and reoccurrence.

"Keeping in line with our brand purpose of 'Making India Health Confident', we conduct regular market research to understand consumer sentiments and deterrents in healthcare financing. Our latest innovation, iCan has been developed with an understanding that cancer is one of the most dreaded diseases in India today and both its incidence and treatment costs are increasing at an alarming pace. While a patient suffers from the cancer, their family suffers the consequences. It causes deep financial and emotional trauma to the entire family. Hence, iCan is our innovative solution to offer complete financial protection that will seamlessly support the patient and their family to win against cancer," says Dr Ali.

While rolling out a campaign for such a sensitive subject is quite an uphill task, the bigger challenge that the creative team had was that because of the amount of negativity associated with cancer, people do not want to engage with the subject. "We had to create an idea that wouldn't amplify fear. Instead, we wanted to focus on hope and positivity. And leave the audience feeling inspired and positive," says Chopra.

So, was it well strategised?

We asked the experts if such 'call-to-action videos' would influence viewers/consumers or will they think twice before transacting and spending money on buying/renewing their health insurance policies.

Apollo Munich encourages people to #NeverGiveUp while fighting cancer

Ronita Mitra

Apollo Munich encourages people to #NeverGiveUp while fighting cancer

Ashish Khazanchi

Ronita Mitra, former senior vice president and head of brand, media, digital, and consumer insights at Vodafone, who recently launched a strategic marketing consultancy firm, Brand Eagle, feels that the film captures the problem very well, but it falls short on the product integration - the product promise.

She says, "It appears to be a salience building film on the back of a big problem. The film keeps you engaged throughout mainly because of the innocent portrayal of the child's role in conveying the message around hope and resilience. I don't see a risk in the audience not watching the film till the end, the first time. However, the product integration is weak and lacks credibility. The call-to-action is not compelling enough. The final message being communicated is ambiguous - there was a big opportunity for the brand to establish how it stays with the patient, how it helps create hope. But the film is heavily skewed towards the storytelling."

Ashish Khazanchi, managing partner, Enormous, says, "It's a noble effort, but doesn't really do it for me beyond scratching the surface. The pain of a cancer family is immense and it's great that the brand is trying to address that and give them hope and inspiration to carry on the fight. However, the narrative feels a little constructed and therefore, insincere to me. The lying mirror campaign of HDFC, for instance, does the job simply and more importantly, with deeper insight and empathy."

Agency credits:

Agency: Triton Communications

NCD: Ullas Chopra

Copywriter: Ullas Chopra

Servicing: Sam Husseini (President North)

Production Credits:

Production House - Keroscene Films

Director - Rajesh Saathi

DOP - Pankaj Kumar

2nd DOP - Nuthan Nagraj

Producer - Harish Nambiar

Executive Producer - Ankita Malhotra Gurjar

Music Director - Aman Pant

Cast - Manasi Parekh, Advait Shukla, Mayuri Simzia