After entering ‘the real world,’ where job hunting, filing taxes and opening a savings account are harder to do than sit for an O-Level math exam, one is prone to wonder why one was not taught anything about the real-world processes earlier in life. EFU have acknowledged one of these knowledge gaps – the importance of having life insurance – with a short-format web series called Humrahi; the story of a couple, Maha and Ahad, and their journey through different stages of their lives (entering a new relationship, starting a new job, having a child). So far, three seasons of the series have been released on Facebook and YouTube.
Aman Hussain, Head of Marketing, EFU, says, “We wanted to connect EFU to our audiences in a more relatable way as well as to reinforce a progressive mindset through positive messaging, whether by encouraging financial empowerment among women or promoting education for both girls and boys (rather than just boys). We also touched on softer issues such as how women can create a work-life balance or how first jobbers can take control of their finances.”
Another objective was to change the perception about life insurance among Millennial audiences by positioning it as a smart choice, especially given the widespread lack of awareness and misconceptions about life insurance in Pakistan. According to Hussain, “Insurance penetration as a percentage of GDP is merely one percent, much lower than our neighbouring countries, and in terms of life insurance, we are just scraping the surface – only about 10% of Pakistanis have a life insurance policy. There are tremendous opportunities to capitalise on this untapped market segment.”
Hussain says that there are several reasons why people are reluctant to invest in life insurance and these include the fact that insurance companies do not advertise as actively as other categories do. In her opinion, the solution lies in more consistent efforts by insurance companies to create awareness about the importance of any kind of insurance. “Insurance of any kind should not be purchased out of fear or because of mandatory regulations; for example, travel insurance because it is a requirement for Schengen countries.” Another reason is the fact that life insurance is a high-involvement product aimed at boosting medium to long-term savings and Pakistani consumers have a short-term approach to savings, with most people seeking returns within three to five years. Furthermore, there is a perception that life insurance is a luxury and a complex product (due to the paperwork and choices involved). Another barrier is a mindset that goes ‘jab zaroorat ho gee to dekh lain gay,’ (when we need it, we will get it) or Allah behtar karay ga (God will do what is best for us).
To overcome these barriers, EFU made it a point to take a light-hearted approach in their advertising, rather than instil fear. “EFU Life has always steered clear of using fear. In our ‘Life Mein Kamal Karna Zaroori Hai’ campaign, we took a humorous and inspirational approach and in Plan Karna Zaroori Hai the messaging was motivational, encouraging consumers to think of life insurance as an important tool to live a life free from worries.”
The reason for the focus on Millennials was because, according to Hussain, more than 60% of Pakistan’s population is below 30 and make up a major chunk of the current workforce. There are also clear behavioural differences in their media viewing habits and their buying decisions are driven by online research. “We saw an opportunity to capture the attention of this segment by creating content that catered to their needs.” In this regard, Facebook and YouTube “performed well” in creating awareness and engagement for EFU’s products, whereas Instagram was more effective in driving engagement among younger audiences.
The latest season was conceptualised keeping key insights in mind, especially given the pandemic and the fact that people are worried about the future, especially in terms of their financial well-being and health. “One of the key insights was a realisation that people need to prepare for the unexpected, so we boiled down the concept of ‘Kuch bhi ho sakta hai, tayyar rehna zaroori hai’ (whatever happens, we need to be ready for it) to create the campaign’s tagline, ‘Life Ka Backup’.
MullenLowe Rauf Group, EFU’s creative agency developed the concept. According to Saher Shakil Hashmi, Creative Director, MullenLowe Rauf Group, every year the agency carries out extensive insight mining to create relatable and relevant content. “In 2020, we wanted to be the solution to people’s problems rather than frighten them even more. This is how the idea of Life Ka Backup came into being.”
Hashmi adds that they did not want the execution to overshadow the seriousness of the message and although shooting was “a challenge and a half, because no one wanted to compromise the health and safety of our internal and external teams and although the budgets were tight, our enthusiasm was high. We wanted to do so much more but we kept reminding ourselves to stay focused on the need of the hour and build content that is meaningful. In the end, we found ways to intelligently cover most of our checklist.”
The first two seasons of Humrahi have won three international awards (Blue Dragon for Best Campaign of Pakistan, Gold Dragon for Best Use of Media at the Dragons of Asia Awards, and a Gold Globe Award at MAA Globes 2019 for Best Use of Media) and a Gold Effie for Branded Content.
For feedback: email@example.com