Remember the evangelist insurance ads that hollered at you to either buy the insurance products or die, be maimed, suffer unimaginable ill-health, misfortune and the worst doomsday scenarios possible? Well, there are two, perhaps three, firms which are beating the status quo, churning out ads that talk about everything positive, but disaster! Great start, but are customers buying the spin?

True, insurance as a product is highly intangible, and a customer has very limited ways to experience the brand or the product and hence a greater need for the brand to stay relevant and go with the tide. But it’s also true that MNYL was quick to learn this facet and went ahead with clutter breaking advertisements coupled with on-ground communication. As a matter of fact, the thought behind the ad campaign of the insurer has been so strong that it never felt the need for a celebrity endorsement. Not only ad campaigns, the insurer, which claims to have more than 6% market share (in terms of FYP growth), is following the footsteps of leading firms in sectors such as telecom, consumer durables, banks et al when it comes to in-serial (on the lines of in-film) placement. So be it Big Boss Season 2 or Balika Badhu (both on Colors), the insurance brand is taking up multiple spots to make the brand visible.

But why in-serial placement? Anisha Motwani, CMO, MNYL, explains the logic to us, “While in-film integrations have been attempted by many a brand, the objective behind in-serial integrations was to create differentiation in a much cluttered environment,” further adding that identified “Content Integration” in chosen properties also helps MNYL’s brands ride on the strong emotional connect that the property enjoys with the audience. But with so many serials on air, why did MNYL zero in on Balika Badhu? Says Anisha, “Balika Badhu was an apt choice given its consistent performance and content – addressing the fate of main protagonist (Anandi) who gets married at an early age and gives up her ‘education’ because of child marriage, highlighting the feudality of child marriage as a custom and therefore importance of education in every child’s life. Through content integration here, Max New York Life’s objective was to bring alive the need to ensure security of the child’s future which every parent strives for.” The integration of MNYL was first done by Colors on a fiction show. The serial Balika Badhu, as of March 25, 2010 has garnered a TVR of 6.5 – ranked #2 – in the list of most watched programmes on Hindi GEC.

Sensing the dynamics of the market as well as the changing demands and expectations of consumers, other insurance players too are falling in line. HDFC Standard Life (the associate sponsor of Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2010), which toes the doomsday profile line in most of its ads, has gone the other way with a new commercial which blends the common value (to both HDFC Standard life and Rajasthan Royals) – self respect or living life with pride – with each of the success stories of the players is a point in case. Sanjay Tripathy, Executive Vice President and Head, Marketing, HDFC Standard tells us, “The campaign is a natural outcome of our effort in propagating the values of self pride, confidence and self belief.”

On a concluding note, it’s quite evident that insurance firms have realised Indians are stoically refusing to buy insurance products only for the insurance cover. They’re demanding adequate interests on their investments – sometimes comparing insurance products with savings schemes. Given this iron clad mentality, the current move away from Nostradamus’ shadow is brilliant – but for it to become a standard, would take much more time.
Gyanendra Kumar Kashyap


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Source : IIPM Editorial, 2010.

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

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10/08/2011 11:28pm

In some sense we can say that insurance appears simultaneously with the appearance of human society. We know of two types of economies in human societies: natural or non-monetary economies (using barter and trade with no centralized nor standardized set of financial instruments) and more modern monetary economies (with markets, currency, financial instruments and so on).

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