FGII’s #CoverTheDistance – Decoding client-agency rapport amid lockdown

Making of FGII #CoverTheDistance

In the times of social distancing, Future Generali India Insurance Company (FGII) Limited rolled out a social media campaign #CoverTheDistance. We get talking to the brand-agency duo to dwell deeper into its making and objective.

Future Generali India Insurance’s (FGII) #CoverTheDistance campaign conceptualized by What’s Your Problem (WYP) Brand Solutions encourages people to make the most of this time spent with their loved ones, whilst they are home.

The two-minute film depicts various relationships and focusses on the fact that it is important to stay connected with your loved ones while following social distancing.

Insight behind #CoverTheDistance

There is a new reality that we all live in – and unfortunately, it’s a reality filled with uncertainty & negativity. As a brand offering health insurance products, the focus was to use moment marketing to have a positive brand conversation in the plethora of negativity. 

The brand saw the lockdown and social distancing as an opportunity to connect with loved ones once again and recover lost ground.

Ruchika Varma, CMO, Future Generali India Insurance shared,  “We wanted to show people that there is a silver lining to social distancing. That this is a great opportunity to refuel their relationships. That is the time of social distancing, it was time to #CoverTheDistance”.

The Brief

The Coronavirus lockdown had just been announced, and in the uncertainty that followed, health concerns were on the top of people’s minds The brief was to create a campaign that focused on the positive aspect of the quarantine and connected with people on a personal level. 

Making of the campaign

The campaign journey started with defining the campaign objective. FGII wanted to create awareness for its health insurance by making it relevant to the current context.

The campaign was time-sensitive as the brand wanted the message to go out as soon as possible after the lockdown. But how does one create a video when one can’t go out and shoot? How does one get VO artists when they are stuck at home and don’t have access to recording studios? And how does one do all of this quickly?

“We all put all our energies in getting this off the ground and collaboratively worked on creating & refining the product. We managed it and the campaign took only a week from conceptualization to launch,” Varma added.

WYP and Future Generali team co-created this campaign post multiple brainstorming sessions. During one of those sessions, they hit upon the idea of #CoverTheDistance. Varma informed that the campaign conceptualization, creation, and launch were done completely at home through digital mediums. The teams had to think of creative solutions to manage the challenges posed by the lockdown.

“The situation was changing every few hours and we had to adapt on-the-go. Flexibility, perseverance, and collaboration with our creative agency kept us going,” she added.

“We had many brainstorming sessions internally and with the client. During these sessions, an insight that emerged was that people were always busy with work and life outside of their homes before the lockdown. But for the first time, we had quality time to spend with our loved ones,” revealed Amit Akali, Managing Partner & CCO, What’s Your Problem (WYP) Brand Solutions.

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The team felt that a video with a hard-hitting voiceover would deliver the message quite effectively. But the next question was, how would we produce such a video in a lockdown?

Overcoming the challenge of video production

Akali admitted that the production bit was one of the most challenging parts of the campaign and required a lot of quick thinking and nimbleness. The creative team reached out to voiceover artists who had their mikes or basic recording setups at home and recorded the voiceover.

The next challenge was to be able to source apt footage that captured the emotion of the voiceover. The inhouse films department then sourced the right footage and put the edit together. Despite working from home, everything from editing to the mixing and final grading of the film was done in-house.

Impact of social distancing on creative brainstorming

Brainstorming over the phone or on a Zoom call is more complicated than brainstorming in person; you have to give everyone the space to think, speak, and react to ideas. You cannot be there in person to look at work in progress, but on the positive note, people respect each other’s time & ensure everyone is present/responds at the right time & manner.

“We pulled off the campaign in a week, which is a surprisingly short time given the circumstances,” exclaimed Akali. “It also instills discipline in the creative process, as we have to stay organized for things to run smoothly. While being stuck in a lockdown can impact morale, we are also learning to manage our time better and #CoverTheDistance with family and friends ourselves”.

Maintaining client-agency relationship

“Ensuring that the client-agency relationship does not suffer has only one rule – ‘Communicate with each other’,” stressed Akali.

While the ways to communicate might have shifted from in-person meetings to video calls, from only verbal communication to emails & so on, but if you follow this rule #1 you can rest assured your relationship will only see newer heights she explains.

Social Media at Play

Varma highlighted that social media has played a big role in creating saliency, amplification & engagement. “We have surpassed our reach goals by 20%. Our website traffic has doubled this month. We are getting 30% higher leads than anticipated,” she stated.

The campaign is running on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn and is supplemented by WhatsApp. On these platforms, the brand is doing its bit to keep the chatter around the campaign going while weaving different narratives around its theme.

The creatives delve into the significance of maintaining relationships in these stressful times and the pure joy of keeping in touch with your loved ones while maintaining social distancing. The insurance company is leveraging digital to stir communication beyond selling insurance and building personal connections.

The brand is also inviting consumers to share their stories of togetherness in the state of lockdown.

Communication strategy in times of COVID

During the pandemic, brands that lead with empathy and genuinely address customer needs are the brand that will end up strengthening relationships with consumers. “In our category, people are searching for health policies that cover Coronavirus, and we have ensured that our SEO, SEM, and website address this need. Besides the campaign, we have been in constant touch with our consumers to create awareness that their health policies cover treatment for Coronavirus,” shared Varma.

Consumers are also concerned about service levels and claims processing during this time. The brand claimed to have re-assured its customers that their service will be uninterrupted even during the lockdown.

There has been a 61% hike in visits to websites in March over February, especially websites in the news, fitness, and entertainment genre. YouTube has increased subscriber base by 30%. Search has seen an upswing. Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp have become even more popular. FGII’s media mix is an optimal combination of all of these touchpoints.

Re-looking the marketing objectives

FGII’s marketing strategy is based on the fundamental principles of consumer understanding, need gap analysis, solutions for these gaps, developing compelling communication and pushing it through effective mediums

Varma dwelled further, “With COVID-19, the fundamentals haven’t changed. What has changed is what we communicate and how we communicate basis current consumer sentiment. Consumers today are more concerned about their health and there is an upsurge in demand for health insurance products. We are ensuring that we address that need by reaching out to them through social media, search, and high visitorship websites. Digital & Mobile were always the core of our media strategy & in the current context they have become even more critical”.

In parallel, the brand claimed to have ensured that the agents are equipped with the right tools for digital prospecting & consumer relationship management in the absence of physical interaction.

Today more so than ever, consumers also need the assurance that the brand is always reachable should they need us. “Our service centers are fully operational even while our service center staff works from home. We believe that relevant communication that genuinely addresses consumers’ needs and concerns and is delivered consistently will create brand preference for us in these times,” Varma concluded.


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