Ubaid Zargar

Here’s why Acko is bullish on content marketing

  • Acko leverages humour and content marketing to demystify the complex BFSI category

  • Ashish Mishra emphasises content as the foundational block in their strategy

  • The brand's YouTube content series, ‘What’s The Catch?’, features actor R Madhavan and aims to explain insurance offerings

  • In 2023 Acko launched new insurance offerings, a comical campaign with Bollywood actors, and executed market expansion plans

When you think of the Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) category, things that probably come to mind are limitless paperwork, financial jargon that is incomprehensible, or a middleman who’s after your money. Insurance company Acko is hoping to demystify the category, with humour, wit, and a lot of content.

“Content is the foundational block in our marketing strategy,” says Ashish Mishra, who is the executive vice president of marketing at Acko. The idea is, to up the scale of awareness and simplify the already complex world of insurance, the brand is disseminating content to rope in new enthusiasts. 

A few weeks ago, the brand launched its most recent YouTube content series titled What’s The Catch?. The series featured actor R Madhavan, who goes face to face with the brand’s CEO Varun Dua, in a bid to dispel common misconceptions or questions about insurance. 

We wanted an authentic voice to come on board and ask us genuine questions that consumers have in their minds.

The questions are fairly basic, but that appears to be the point. The brand is aiming to explain how its offerings of Zero Commissions or Easy Claims are possible. But the concept of having the leader of the brand speak to its ambassador in what is made to appear as an authentic podcast of sorts, is a little peculiar, so to speak. 

Mishra explains, “Insurance is the category where people get confused with the terminology and are lost for words. This is not something you want to wake up in the morning and read about. We wanted an authentic voice to come on board and ask us genuine questions that consumers have in their minds.” 

The campaign is still ongoing, and the brand intends to keep adding to the series every quarter, as per Mishra. “The questions he asks are very genuine and to the point. And the ambition is that the brand should reach out to consumers, and make them more savvy with the industry. The campaign is proactive and we keep adding to this every three months.”

It isn’t just about this campaign where content marketing has taken centre stage. A quick look at Acko’s digital footprint reveals that the brand is really bullish on content marketing. But why?

Mishra answers, “In this category, the more you educate the more you benefit as a company. Content is the foundational block in our marketing strategy. You’re able to empower people to make that decision. We are a direct-to-customer insurance company, which means customers being comfortable in making their financial decisions with us is our ultimate goal. And this is only facilitated by informative content to equip the potential customers.”

Campaigning beyond content

Beyond content marketing, the brand also has a comical leaning creative strategy. In collaboration with Leo Burnett, the brand launched its viral campaign featuring Bollywood actors Sanjay Dutt (as Munna Bhai) and Arshad Warsi (as Circuit). The two iconic characters were depicted as inquisitive health insurance operatives who, again, aimed to simplify the entire category. 

Mishra says, “What we understood was that our USP was the uniqueness of our offerings. Munna Bhai and Circuit have the habit of questioning everything. Even things that are obvious. So, if these two characters were launching the product, they’d be just as bewildered as I am in terms of these basic offerings not being simplified in the category.” 

The films were directed by the decorated Bollywood director Rajkumar Hirani. But why go a comical route for a category that has for decades fed off the emotions of fear and suffering? 

Mishra answers, “When you design a product that has zero waiting period, and a hundred percent bill payment, internally we wondered why this was so unique. Nobody does that in the category. Since we’re the sole runners with this, we have the privilege to make communication easy on the ears and mostly fun.” 

Following in the footsteps of Munna Bhai and Circuit plot, the brand has also tied up with Bollywood father-daughter duo Saif Ali Khan and Sara Ali Khan for practically the same purpose. The two actors are seen enumerating the benefits that come with Acko.

A quick recap

For Acko, 2023 was excellent, as per Mishra. “We launched travel and health insurance. We intend to expand to other markets as well. What is nice to see is that the brand-building efforts over the last couple of years are now materialising in the consumer trust in brand Acko.”

We are going to launch life insurance this year and it’s going to be full of opportunity and equally challenging.

The plan ahead for the brand is to add to its offerings, and make the portfolio that bit more accessible. “We are going to launch life insurance this year and it’s going to be full of opportunity and equally challenging. We aren’t available in some cities because our level of service there isn’t as robust as we have in other places such as Mumbai. As our operation capability builds, we will foray into newer avenues.”

The penetration conundrum

For insurance brands, the biggest roadblock in expansion is the low penetration in the country. As per Mishra, education is the key to bring in more consumers. He points out, “I think the biggest challenge you come across is the lack of empathy from the consumers. Insurance is the last thing on a consumer’s mind from a financial investment point of view.”

He adds, “Within insurance as well, people are generally only concerned about life and car insurance. Health insurance or travel insurance is still not there. Post-covid, awareness has gone up but education in terms of its importance is still lacking. Regulators are doing a fantastic job in driving awareness, powered by a lot of major insurance players.”

“Consumer behaviour in the category has been positive over the years," Mishra highlights. 

As long as you feel in control of your finances, we are the platform for you.

“People are becoming increasingly aware of health and life insurance which is great. Overall education in newer markets in Tier 2 is gaining momentum.” 

Acko’s target audience, as per Mishra, is identified by mentality and not age. “As long as you feel in control of your finances, we are the platform for you.”

To reach out to this audience, the brand fundamentally has a lot of presence on OTT and digital platforms, followed by TV and CTV.

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