How An Insurance Brand Is Redefining “Bad Investments” Through Live Stand-Up Comedy On Twitter

The second edition of HDFC Life's stand up comedy on Twitter was live streamed yesterday following a massive social media buzz. Here we review the campaign's social media activities on Twitter and YouTube


The Friday gone by was particularly dull up until the afternoon when I tuned in to the live streaming of #StandUpOnTwitter on HDFC Life’s YouTube channel. #StandUpOnTwitter marks the insurance brand’s second foray into live stand up comedy powered by Twitter and YouTube.

HDFC Life, one of India’s leading private life insurance companies, chose to reach out to the new generation millenials via stand up comedy on Twitter. The second phase of the campaign that started with a massive buzz on social media since the beginning of the week- so much so that the campaign hashtag #StandUpOnTwitter occupied the top 10 Twitter trends in India for almost 11 hours – culminated in a hilarious stand up comedy on Friday afternoon.

The hilarious stand up comedian trio - Azeem Banatwalla, Karunesh Talwar and Kunal Kamra were at their magical best in enlightening us on “bad investments” – the theme for the comedy act this season.

#StandUpOnTwitter – pre-show buzz

Friday Jan 9: The brand started creating buzz as soon as the clock struck noon. Twitter was the chosen platform and contests the best way to engage users. Using the campaign hashtag #StandUpOnTwitter and India’s second most favourite entertainment after cricket - bollywood, the HDFC Life Twitter handle weaved in a fun Twitter contest.

It invited twitterati to get creative with movie names and replace them with new versions that involved a financial term, while sharing an example.

Another type of contest invited users to share witty lines based on finance or insurance related terms:

While there were vouchers to be won every 10 minutes, the most interactive twitterati stood the chance to win the grand prize of an iPad Mini!

Just before the live show was to be streamed, twitterati were invited to have their funniest lines to a friend feature in the act. Using the same hashtag, participants needed to tag their friend on Twitter and say something funny to them. The funniest lines would then be featured in the stand up act.

Stand up comedy live streamed

Finally the big moment arrived at 3:30 pm. The next half hour was a laugh riot with the funny trio. Starting with Kunal’s funny jibes at weird categories of people found on this planet, the live act carried forward by Azeem and ended by Karunesh, threw light on some intelligent observations on stupidity, and stupid investments made by Punjabis, Bollywood, Americans, hotels and more.

The trio also invited people to ask questions related to ‘bad investments’ using the campaign hashtag #StandUpOnTwitter with the promise of sharing funny video responses to them. Here’s the link to the live stream:

Nonstop engagement keeps up the momentum

HDFC Life ensured nobody missed the stand up act. While viewers at the live show laughed out loud, the act was also live streamed online along with continuous Twitter engagement to keep up the momentum. The brand’s Twitter handle shared the live streaming link, while retweeting user responses on the live act.

Users joined in with their crazy questions, which were also retweeted by the brand.

Co-creating funny videos with the community

Weird/witty/quirky questions kept pouring in on Twitter with the campaign hashtag. The funny trio got on to the job of creating hilarious responses to them through short videos. Within a short span of time, these funny response videos were shared with the users by also tagging them. It’s been quite a laugh riot watching through these videos.

Sharing some of the hilarious responses, not necessarily all about investments, but terribly funny though:

Pre-show buzz: Trending on Twitter

Jan 6-8: Social media was leveraged at the start of the week with teaser videos featuring the comedians and interesting Twitter contests to encourage participation and drive buzz. The teaser videos revealed day by day provided a glimpse into the humour quotient in the stand up act. The brand ensured the campaign hashtag trended on Twitter on the second day with a variety of contests.

Twitterati were invited to share witty, quirky tweets that matched the expressions of the comedians in the first phase of the contest. The second phase of the contest needed them to share ‘insane investments’ made by them. In the third contest phase, users needed to share selfies that best matched the expressions of the comedians. Vouchers were up for grabs every 10 minutes for the wittiest responses.

HDFC StanduponTwitter contest

Read also: “How HDFC Life’s #StandUpOnTwitter Is Leveraging Social Media For Maximum Reach”

#StandUpOnTwitter: The perfect mix of comedy, co-creation & contests

Last year, the brand hosted the first ever stand-up comedy on Twitter themed #Little2Adjust by teaming up with a couple of stand up comedians who responded to witty user questions on relationships, with short funny videos and shared them on Twitter. The live stand up act in the second phase has not only added substance to the campaign but also managed a deeper connect with the TG.

With #StandUpOnTwitter, the insurance brand has managed to weld a stronger hold on stand up comedy and carved a niche in the BFSI sector. Moreover, the campaign is a timely one with youngsters looking to make investments for the financial year-end.

#StandUpOnTwitter has the right ingredients to connect with millenials - comedy, co-creation, contests. What are your views, share them with us in the comments.