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Author Topic: Emergence of Insurance Sector with advertising campaigns...  (Read 7171 times)

Offline gkunalin

Emergence of Insurance Sector with advertising campaigns...
« on: February 11, 2008, 01:49 PM »
Emergence of Insurance Sector with advertising campaigns...

CHINTAMANI, the mascot of the middle class, has become a household name. Even kids are demanding toys modelled around his scraggly old figure. Thanks to him, ICICI Prudential now enjoys a brand recall of 92 per cent next to LIC's 97 per cent, according to AC Nielsen's Brandtrack 7 study out last year. Insurance brand building has certainly come a long way. Financial services advertising has traditionally been tactical. It usually just imparts information, given the complexity of the products.

With the liberalisation of the insurance market in 2000, building a separate insurance brand with a towering public sector unit like LIC that held 100 per cent of the market share proved to be an urgent as well as a daunting task. Awareness of the brand was the first goal that had to be met. Rohit Mull, Vice-President (Marketing), Tata AIG, says, "Insurance buying involves a high degree of involvement. At the outset, people were not aware that Tata had forayed into the insurance business. Awareness had to be driven to a level where it culminates in a transaction. It is unlike some FMCG companies like Coke and Pepsi where marketing has to be driven only to the extent of preference."

Insurance agents demanded that the companies support them by advertising. People they are selling to should at the very least know that the brand they are selling really exists. Initially, all advertising by private insurers ended up reinforcing the LIC brand image as the PSU was still synonymous with life insurance.

Historically, print was the traditional choice for the medium of advertising. The break with tradition came when ICICI Prudential arguably became the first private insurance company to recognise and harness the power of TV advertising, with its `Sindoor' campaign in 2001. Then came its retirement solutions campaign with the tagline `Retire from work, not life.'

The second campaign saw ICICI Prudential getting into product-specific advertising. With Chintamani, insurance advertising got a new treatment. Sujit Ganguli, Head (Marketing), ICICI Prudential, says, "Chintamani is a very interesting character. The claymation (clay animation), particularly, breaks from the clutter. To add to it, the jingle is also very catchy."

Now, most private players have 50-70 per cent of their ad spend skewed in favour of television. Marketing budgets have been soaring for the past three years. Reportedly, on a budget of Rs 5.8 crore for February 2005 alone, ICICI Prudential's `Retirement solutions campaign' was the highest spending brand, pipping several HLL brands to the post. The fact that insurance selling activity reaches a peak around March also needs to be taken into account.

The advertising has been spread across mass as well as niche TV channels. S.Muralidharan, Chief Marketing Officer, SBI Life, says, "We have advertised in 10 languages. We chose TV because its footprint is quite large. The visual is always more effective and more universal. Print advertising is a two-level abstraction, in terms of language and in terms of the thought."

The campaigns have also tapped several ideas associated with insurance; an alternative to LIC's `Mr Sharma', which harped on the idea of protecting your family against the wage earner's death. The current campaigns are less dark and foreboding. Some even use humour while others spark sentimentality.

HDFC Standard Life, for instance, uses the idea of `self respect' as its platform. M. Suresh, General Manager (Sales), says, "While selling insurance, it does not work if you remind people of their imminent death. Instead of selling insurance by offering protection and safety, we use the platform of self-respect." The TV ad features multiple relationships ? those between husband and wife, father and son, grandfather and grandson. The family members refuse help from each other because they have their `self-respect.' The print ads use the characters from the television ad to extend the idea of the campaign. The press ad is, however, packed with more information about the products.

Tata AIG's `boy planting a sapling that grows into a tree' works on the idea of planning ahead. The company also uses brand ambassadors. Says Mull, "We have two ambassadors - Naseeruddin Shah for Nirvana Pension and Harsha Bhogle for Maha Life. Both ambassadors connote credibility and respect. Harsha, for instance, signifies being an IIM Ahmedabad product, a `numbers' guy and so on."

Kotak Mahindra's Old Mutual Life campaign saw the focus shift to print and outdoor once its TV campaign fell flat. "We decided on a more outdoor-and print-heavy marketing strategy. It was felt that people needed to be provided with information rather than be hit with visuals. Press ads and outdoor ads serve that purpose," says Rahul Sinha, Vice-President (Marketing), Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life.

Kotak uses catch phrases with a twist in all its hoardings. Lines like "Eat your cake and have it too" or "Bulls you win, bears you win" have been used in its outdoor campaigns to explain its equity-linked products.

Kotak and SBI Life use the same brand colours and logo as the mother brand. As much as 20 per cent of Kotak's business comes from bancassurance. "We call it the "6=1" approach. The line "Think Investment, think Kotak" applies to the bank, the insurance wing as well as the mutual fund. We are trying to project a traditional Indian brand with the same core values," says Sinha.

SBI Life has 63 per cent business coming from bancassurance. So, its advertisements are directed towards telling people that they can buy insurance from the bank. "Advertising, therefore, consists of branch merchandising. Its more about point-of-purchase sort of advertising," says Muralidharan. "SBI Life's TV campaigns have been more for the non-bank customers. The tone of our ad was more corporate and less about products," he adds.

Throughout this barrage of ad campaigns, LIC has not been keeping quiet. According to analysts, pension products and ULIPs are the relatively unsuccessful products in LIC's business portfolio. This has been attributed to low commissions for agents because of the low risk content of the products. In the case of ULIPs, the agents are still grappling with understanding the complexity of its equity-linked features. They say private players have cashed in on this and usually advertise for pension products or ULIPs.

Many private players have trained their sights on SEC A and B. Lalit Kumar Dash, Executive Director (Marketing), LIC, says, "Most private players aim at segments of high net worth. They give emphasis to the premium income. On the other hand, LIC has to fulfil a social responsibility. Our spread is across the country and we have to cater to the high, middle and lower income segments."

Last year, LIC's Rs 125-crore budget was divided with 20 per cent going to TV, 25-30 per cent for print and 35 per cent for outdoor. Through March, LIC had ads across all products being beamed on TV. The insurance major also undertook scientific studies to look at its target audience. The company says that the Rs 2 crore it spent on the Internet has been successful in reaching the urban middle and upper class.

With the private players flexing their muscles, the LIC pie has hit a down curve - down from 83 per cent last year to 78 per cent this year. Many private companies say that there will be a 30-40 per cent increase in their marketing expenditure by next year, with senior executives handling FMCG brands such as ITC, Coke and Cadbury getting roped into marketing insurance wares. The emphasis will be on creatives and the accent on awareness. And it is TV that is proving to be new vehicle to carry the insurance business.
 
 

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Re: Emergence of Insurance Sector with advertising campaigns...
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2008, 06:12 AM »
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Emergence of Insurance Sector with advertising campaigns...

CHINTAMANI, the mascot of the middle class, has become a household name. Even kids are demanding toys modelled around his scraggly old figure. Thanks to him, ICICI Prudential now enjoys a brand recall of 92 per cent next to LIC's 97 per cent, according to AC Nielsen's Brandtrack 7 study out last year. Insurance brand building has certainly come a long way. Financial services advertising has traditionally been tactical. It usually just imparts information, given the complexity of the products.

With the liberalisation of the insurance market in 2000, building a separate insurance brand with a towering public sector unit like LIC that held 100 per cent of the market share proved to be an urgent as well as a daunting task. Awareness of the brand was the first goal that had to be met. Rohit Mull, Vice-President (Marketing), Tata AIG, says, "Insurance buying involves a high degree of involvement. At the outset, people were not aware that Tata had forayed into the insurance business. Awareness had to be driven to a level where it culminates in a transaction. It is unlike some FMCG companies like Coke and Pepsi where marketing has to be driven only to the extent of preference."

Insurance agents demanded that the companies support them by advertising. People they are selling to should at the very least know that the brand they are selling really exists. Initially, all advertising by private insurers ended up reinforcing the LIC brand image as the PSU was still synonymous with life insurance.

Historically, print was the traditional choice for the medium of advertising. The break with tradition came when ICICI Prudential arguably became the first private insurance company to recognise and harness the power of TV advertising, with its `Sindoor' campaign in 2001. Then came its retirement solutions campaign with the tagline `Retire from work, not life.'

The second campaign saw ICICI Prudential getting into product-specific advertising. With Chintamani, insurance advertising got a new treatment. Sujit Ganguli, Head (Marketing), ICICI Prudential, says, "Chintamani is a very interesting character. The claymation (clay animation), particularly, breaks from the clutter. To add to it, the jingle is also very catchy."

Now, most private players have 50-70 per cent of their ad spend skewed in favour of television. Marketing budgets have been soaring for the past three years. Reportedly, on a budget of Rs 5.8 crore for February 2005 alone, ICICI Prudential's `Retirement solutions campaign' was the highest spending brand, pipping several HLL brands to the post. The fact that insurance selling activity reaches a peak around March also needs to be taken into account.

The advertising has been spread across mass as well as niche TV channels. S.Muralidharan, Chief Marketing Officer, SBI Life, says, "We have advertised in 10 languages. We chose TV because its footprint is quite large. The visual is always more effective and more universal. Print advertising is a two-level abstraction, in terms of language and in terms of the thought."

The campaigns have also tapped several ideas associated with insurance; an alternative to LIC's `Mr Sharma', which harped on the idea of protecting your family against the wage earner's death. The current campaigns are less dark and foreboding. Some even use humour while others spark sentimentality.

HDFC Standard Life, for instance, uses the idea of `self respect' as its platform. M. Suresh, General Manager (Sales), says, "While selling insurance, it does not work if you remind people of their imminent death. Instead of selling insurance by offering protection and safety, we use the platform of self-respect." The TV ad features multiple relationships ? those between husband and wife, father and son, grandfather and grandson. The family members refuse help from each other because they have their `self-respect.' The print ads use the characters from the television ad to extend the idea of the campaign. The press ad is, however, packed with more information about the products.

Tata AIG's `boy planting a sapling that grows into a tree' works on the idea of planning ahead. The company also uses brand ambassadors. Says Mull, "We have two ambassadors - Naseeruddin Shah for Nirvana Pension and Harsha Bhogle for Maha Life. Both ambassadors connote credibility and respect. Harsha, for instance, signifies being an IIM Ahmedabad product, a `numbers' guy and so on."

Kotak Mahindra's Old Mutual Life campaign saw the focus shift to print and outdoor once its TV campaign fell flat. "We decided on a more outdoor-and print-heavy marketing strategy. It was felt that people needed to be provided with information rather than be hit with visuals. Press ads and outdoor ads serve that purpose," says Rahul Sinha, Vice-President (Marketing), Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life.

Kotak uses catch phrases with a twist in all its hoardings. Lines like "Eat your cake and have it too" or "Bulls you win, bears you win" have been used in its outdoor campaigns to explain its equity-linked products.

Kotak and SBI Life use the same brand colours and logo as the mother brand. As much as 20 per cent of Kotak's business comes from bancassurance. "We call it the "6=1" approach. The line "Think Investment, think Kotak" applies to the bank, the insurance wing as well as the mutual fund. We are trying to project a traditional Indian brand with the same core values," says Sinha.

SBI Life has 63 per cent business coming from bancassurance. So, its advertisements are directed towards telling people that they can buy insurance from the bank. "Advertising, therefore, consists of branch merchandising. Its more about point-of-purchase sort of advertising," says Muralidharan. "SBI Life's TV campaigns have been more for the non-bank customers. The tone of our ad was more corporate and less about products," he adds.

Throughout this barrage of ad campaigns, LIC has not been keeping quiet. According to analysts, pension products and ULIPs are the relatively unsuccessful products in LIC's business portfolio. This has been attributed to low commissions for agents because of the low risk content of the products. In the case of ULIPs, the agents are still grappling with understanding the complexity of its equity-linked features. They say private players have cashed in on this and usually advertise for pension products or ULIPs.

Many private players have trained their sights on SEC A and B. Lalit Kumar Dash, Executive Director (Marketing), LIC, says, "Most private players aim at segments of high net worth. They give emphasis to the premium income. On the other hand, LIC has to fulfil a social responsibility. Our spread is across the country and we have to cater to the high, middle and lower income segments."

Last year, LIC's Rs 125-crore budget was divided with 20 per cent going to TV, 25-30 per cent for print and 35 per cent for outdoor. Through March, LIC had ads across all products being beamed on TV. The insurance major also undertook scientific studies to look at its target audience. The company says that the Rs 2 crore it spent on the Internet has been successful in reaching the urban middle and upper class.

With the private players flexing their muscles, the LIC pie has hit a down curve - down from 83 per cent last year to 78 per cent this year. Many private companies say that there will be a 30-40 per cent increase in their marketing expenditure by next year, with senior executives handling FMCG brands such as ITC, Coke and Cadbury getting roped into marketing insurance wares. The emphasis will be on creatives and the accent on awareness. And it is TV that is proving to be new vehicle to carry the insurance business.
 

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