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Insurers go digital

Social media is catching up fast as a brand promotion and product awareness vehicle

M Saraswathy  |  Mumbai 

Sudhir, who is part of #GreatestFan campaign by  Reliance Life, seen with his idol Sachin
Sudhir, who is part of #GreatestFan campaign by Reliance Life, seen with his idol Sachin

A simple conversation between cartoon character 'Snoopy' and a child on how he did not get anything when he broke his hand, unlike the Rs 100 he received from the Tooth Fairy when he broke a tooth is straight enough to send across the message on why health plans are crucial. PNB Metlife decided to make it a digital-only campaign.

That's not all. The insurer has done a similar campaign for life insurance as well featuring the same child and the cartoon character. Says Niraj Shah, director marketing, strategy and products), "The advantage of the digital medium is that audience response can be gauged immediately. We can also receive feedback and plan our strategy accordingly."

PNB Metlife isn't alone in cashing in on the craze for social media to promote safe insurance practices. Bajaj Allianz General Insurance has the ongoing 'Don't be a Boo Boo' campaign to emphasise the need to drive safely. The campaign focusing on a family that breaks traffic rules, called 'Don't be a Boo Boo'.

The animated video is conceptualised on a family of bears who always end up driving carelessly and breaking road safety rules. A jingle has also been created to educate users on the importance of abiding traffic rules.

Sourabh Chatterjee, Head, IT, web sales and digital marketing, says, "The campaign was able to gain 1.4 million impressions on Facebook and reached out to 1.2 million people. The jingle garnered an engagement of 73 per cent on Twitter."


Subtle campaigns have also been done not just during product promotions, but also during natural calamities. Sanjay Tripathy, Sr EVP -Marketing, Product, Digital & E-commerce, HDFC Life Insurance says the company did a campaign during Diwali to focus on collecting funds so that the Pachaimalai village in Tamil Nadu could be lit up with solar lamps. The insurer promoted this on its social media platforms and developed a microsite.

The medium is being used not just for products, but also to empower customers. Rajiv Kumar, head - customer service, product development, corporate planning and operations, at Universal Sompo General Insurance says the insurer is using the medium to break the myths about product features/coverage and protect customers from fraud or mis-selling.

This insurer developed a #FriendMe Digital Campaign to innate and extend the characteristics of a true friend to its customers. The relation of a 'Friend' was specially chosen to communicate the traits of a friend - trustworthy, reliable, transparent, concerned and responsive. The campaign was the company's way to make every effort to be a friend of customers and engage and guide them on issues/risk which could surface if left ignored.

For some companies, the entire media spend strategy is also shifting gradually to the digital medium. Anup Rau, CEO Reliance Life Insurance, says there is a surge in 'online first' campaigns where the idea lends itself to online and other mediums play the support role.

One such campaign in the past has been the one called, #GreatestFan. The campaign was run to create awareness for retirement plans. Here, it featured Sachin's greatest fan, Sudhir who is seen in every international cricket match where India is playing with his body painted in tricolours and blowing the conch. The campaign asked people to look at the plight of a great fan who did not have a retirement plan, while his hero was on the verge of retirement.

"We encouraged Sudhir to pursue his passion of cheering the cricket team and intend to back him right up to the World Cup and beyond. As a company engaged in planning for people's retirement, we are concerned about this ardent fan who has let his passion take over his life. With this in mind, we decided to secure Sudhir's future financially and help the ultimate devotee ride his passion for cricket, even after his raison d'etre retires," says Rao.

Going forward too, insurers are looking to have a permanent place for digital media in all their campaigns. Closer tracking of social media presence with respect to the hashtags trending, retweets, brand positioning and new followers gained after campaign are also getting done, as companies move closer to where a large part of their audiences are.

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First Published: Tue, December 29 2015. 21:10 IST
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