Published in Jan-Feb 2022
Like most businesses, the insurance sector was affected by the pandemic as it is highly dependent on face-to-face interaction between insurance representatives and customers, after which policies are tailor-made.
As Aman Hussain, Head of Marketing, EFU Life Insurance, put it, “with the shutdown in 2020, we found ourselves at a standstill and we had to quickly develop a Covid-19 response strategy, with a clear focus on customer and employee wellbeing, and with specific products centred on digitalisation.” She adds that a trend EFU noticed during the pandemic was that customers really wanted a safety net for themselves and their families, given the looming financial instability.
As a result, EFU took two initiatives in 2020. Firstly, they extended premium payment deadlines to ensure that policies would not lapse and secondly, existing customers were given a complimentary additional cover of Rs 100,000 for Covid-19 related deaths. These initiatives, along with the fact that the coverage costs amounted to Rs 100 a day, were promoted via a new season of their ongoing web series, Humrahi. However, despite these initiatives, conversions remained low, despite an increased volume of queries.
“We were repeatedly asked about our Rs 100 per day proposition; people wanted to know more about what they would get with Rs 100 per day, in the medium- and long-term. They also wanted a reason to believe,” says Hussain.
This led to the ‘Life ka Asli Backup’ (a tagline used by EFU previously) campaign, which was rolled out in 2021, and executed by MullenLowe Rauf. According to Hussain, “We wanted to emphasise the importance of saving before spending and the fact that our customers could enjoy a lifestyle while ensuring their future was taken care of through life insurance.”
The campaign consisted of two commercials. The first focused on a working woman (to stress the financial empowerment of women) and the second on a father-son relationship. The commercials were supported by print, radio and OOH. The campaign broke “the media roadblock” for three days, when the TVCs ran on 20+ channels at 7:57 pm, simultaneously with a radio spot, ensuring no other ads were aired at these times. “We went quite big in terms of media planning, with a roadblock strategy on TV, radio and digital in the mix to secure campaign visibility,” says Hussain.
Digital was used for a longer period of time compared to other media because consumer behaviour on this platform is different. Six bite-sized digital assets were released focusing on various aspects of insurance, such as tax savings through life insurance investments, affordability, protection of savings, and inflation. “The content for digital had to be shorter, which is why each digital asset was 10 to 15 seconds in duration. In the last couple of years, we have invested heavily in digital and learned a lot about how audiences behave on this medium.”
As a “sustainability phase”, the third leg of the campaign was recently released on digital. It is called #BackupKahaniyaan and aims to inspire people to go for EFU by showcasing real-life stories. The first video features Zarnak Sidwa, the well-known TV chef and media personality who speaks about how her husband bought an education policy for their son before passing away from cancer at a relatively young age. The policy supported their son’s education – he is now studying to become a doctor. In the video, Sidwa says, “The policy allowed me to provide my son the kind of future that my husband had dreamt for him.” Hussain says, “We don’t think there is a better way to communicate the ‘Life ka Backup’ concept, than by featuring the people who actually made it their backup.”
In terms of the target audience, Hussain says it has broadened and now includes people between 25 and 45 years. (The SECs remain unchanged – A and B). Current policyholders are mainly men because they are the breadwinners and the financial decision-makers of their households, although women play an important role in the process. EFU, however, is making concerted efforts to target working women, given their increasing number.
Looking longer-term, Hussain says, “We are aiming for a shift in mindset, whereby customers look at life insurance as essential to their future, and more women join our customer base. The campaign taught us that a single execution – no matter how brilliant – is not a fix for all media. Adapting the communication to different media platforms helped us to attract a wider audience while segmenting the larger customer pool helped us optimise our campaign and generate interest and leads.”