With the tax season upon us, insurance brands are bracing up with new communication campaigns. While some are taking the humour route, others are leveraging pure storytelling to get their messages across. Birla Sun Life Insurance (BSLI), the life insurance arm of Aditya Birla Financial Services Group has come up with the touching story of a single father’s grit and determination in raising his autistic son.
With this positioning, the insurance brand seeks to celebrate the human spirit rather than talk directly about how it can help you during the uncertainties of your life. Conceptualised by Taproot India, the three-and-a-half minute film titled ‘Khud ko kar buland’ is already creating waves on social media.
The ad film opens rather sadly with a father learning that his son has autism. Later we see a photo frame of his wife with a tikka applied on it, implying she is no more, as the little boy wails loudly for her. Not one to be defeated by circumstances, we see this young father strive hard to take care of his son and his special needs, while also managing the finances at home.
The story then moves on to a slightly grown up son who needs to be put into a special school. As destiny would have it, the factory at which the father is employed has to shut down at the same time.
The scene then cuts to home where the son is upset at his father coming home late. Right then the father promises him that he’ll never be late again – as the son has been enrolled into the new program while he has started his own business venture. A voiceover states, “Honi ko aap rok nahi sakte. Par honi bhi aap ko kaha rok sakegi. Apno ko, apne sapno ko karo surakshit.”
Uploaded two weeks ago on the Birla Sun Life YouTube channel, the ad film described as ‘an extraordinary story of an ordinary man’ has garnered over 1.7 million views. The hashtag #KhudKoKarBuland also trended on Jan. 15 with the video going viral on social media especially Twitter.
A glance through the hashtag on Twitter and one can see tweets by Twitter influencers and celebrities like Rannvikay Singha and Purab Kohli driving views to the new ad film. The brand, however, does not seem to be present on Twitter.
— rannvijay singha (@RannvijaySingha) January 17, 2015
Life is a product of all your unforced errors. #KhudKoKarBuland
— Gabbbar (@GabbbarSingh) January 16, 2015
— Purab Hersh Kohli (@Purab_Kohli) January 17, 2015
You never know what the future might hold for you… But you can make sure you’re prepared for it #KhudKoKarBuland
— Ashwin Mushran (@ashwinmushran) January 16, 2015
Brilliant storytelling meets a dead end
Brands in the banking, financial services and insurance sector thrive on customer trust and loyalty. With investment season on, it is natural for brands to roll out their marketing campaigns with the most impact-ful communication possible. A single father fighting against all odds life throws at him to provide a good life to his autistic son, has the potential to tug at all our heartstrings. The extraordinary story of an ordinary man serves as the perfect positioning for Birla Sun Life, after having moved away from its former campaigning with cricketer Yuvraj Singh. ‘Khud ko kar buland’ celebrates the common man’s trials and tribulations where storytelling emerges triumphant!
Surprisingly, the insurance brand does not have a presence on Facebook or Twitter, which means no conversations and no engagement. Trending on Twitter by having a hundred influencers and celebrities share your video is a one-day affair. An insurance brand needs to build a lasting relationship with its consumers; it needs to build a community that carries forward the brand story.
With no presence on popular social networks, Birla Sun Life has failed in making a deep connect around the brand story, though it has certainly succeeded if trending on Twitter and a million views on YouTube were the brand objectives!