This time last year right when we were firing our rifles into the air, delighted to see insurance advertising take a giant leap of faith into bolder and funnier terrain in the country, little did we foresee that this too shall pass.
Aegon Life Insurance, earlier Aegon Religare Life Insurance, had rolled out an ambitious video-driven campaign in 2015 featuring stand up comedian Atul Khatri, for the promotions of its for its flagship protection plan iTerm. We call it ambitious because Khatri’s dark humour made sheer mockery of us Indian consumers’ belief that we can easily deceive death.
In a digital campaign conceptualized by Infectious, we saw a cool and calm Khatri in seemingly fatal situations offer a satirical take on people who believed they are immortal. A series of four video films called the ‘Immortals of India’ saw him doing scary stunts with such nonchalance that is worthy only of an immortal being!
‘Fuse Off’, my favourite in that series, shows Khatri fixing a short-circuited fuse with his bare hands. And right while you are gritting your teeth waiting for him to die of an electrical shock, he tells you not to fear for him as “#NothingWillHappen” to him. He also goes on to talk about death as a nonexistent thing in India and other satirical dialogues.
But, things seem to have changed since last year. Religare exited the joint venture, which is now held by Aegon and Bennett, Coleman and Co. The company is simplifying the process of online insurance buying so that every user interaction is smooth and simple.
DDB Mudra has now rolled out an integrated campaign for Aegon Life focusing on ‘simplicity’. Having its base in ‘Simple makes Sense’, the 45-second TVC takes a viewer through amazing graphical illustrations and installations to make its point on the sensibility of simplicity.
Simple things like respecting time, knowing that you are bonded, meaningful interaction leading to action, and others like ‘insurance taking care of you’ are explained in the ad film, in a dramatic coming together of people, visual graphics and design:
“For a brand that promises to simplify everything associated with buying life insurance, it was important that Aegon Life’s communication too was simple and yet had a sense of scale to it,” said Sonal Dabral, Chairman and CCO, DDB Mudra Group in the company press release.
“This campaign stands out from the usual speak of life insurance brands and will bring a renewed vitality to the insurance advertising space,” CMO Shamik Banerjee said while calling it an unconventional take on insurance.
A new brand philosophy certainly needed a fresh approach, a different approach to demonstrate simplicity. The ad is well executed with minimal elements to portray a clear, simple message.
And humour is not entirely out of the scene. The insurance brand’s campaign to promote its iCancer plan has found good company in Weirdass Comedy, comedian Vir Das’s venture, to #FightCancer through a comedy festival. The top stand-up comedians in India – Aditi Mittal, Ashwin Mushran, Daniel Fernandes, Amogh Ranadive and more talked about the importance of being prepared to fight cancer, and how it is funny to take cancer lightly.
Apparently, the core TVC is designed to be ‘Simple’, while humour is employed for its various plans, mainly promoted through native content. Whatever the new brand communication, Aegon Life seems to be finding the right balance between content for TV and content for digital, just like many brands in this content-heavy age.
Jargon-free communication, minimum forms and rapid services being demonstrated in short product videos on YouTube is a good thing. However, the idea of online insurance buying becoming ‘simpler’ with Aegon Life would need to be supported with more content on social media though.