Interview: Though content consumption on digital is increasing, TV offers highest reach: Abhishek Gupta, Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance

Abhishek Gupta

Abhishek Gupta, Chief Marketing Officer, Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance shares insights on the brand’s Zindagi Plus campaign, content consumption trends on digital, and more.

Budget 2019 highlighted the government’s efforts to boost the insurance economy of the country. The life insurance sector in India is growing at 11% to 12%, the growth rate for health insurance stands at 35% per annum. Insurance companies have thereby rolled their sleeves to provide unique customer experience by capitalizing on product improvisation and integrating new age technologies like AI to boost the growth.

While television still rules the roost for insurance advertising in India, digital has paved its way into the marketer’s media mix. Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance launched a campaign to promote its new term product Zindagi Plus.

In conversation with Social Samosa, Abhishek Gupta, Chief Marketing Officer, Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance sheds some light on the campaign, influencer marketing in BFSI, ad spends in 2019, and more. 

What was the idea behind the Zindagi Plus campaign? What was the brief given to the team? 

Based on customer insights, we recognized a gap in the current market offerings and designed this benefit to address that limitation. If you are to buy Zindagi Plus with Better Half Benefit, the product provides a life cover to not only the policyholder but also the spouse following the primary policyholder’s death without any future premium requirements. 

People, as a force of habit, have the tendency to create back-ups even for their back-ups. For instance, you will carry plug-in chargers for your smartphone as well as a portable charger, you will have an e-ticket for your travel but also carry a print nonetheless just as a contingency. When you are willing to take such small safety measures in your daily life, then why not with life? This is exactly what we banked on and it has given us an opportunity to reach our audience in a very simple and light-hearted manner.

When we spoke to our creative and production teams, the brief was very clear – keep it simple and relatable. Let’s not be preachy and morbid.   

Please share the media mix for the campaign. What are the key highlights of the campaign?

With these two TVCs and related activations, we have entered the second leg of our campaign. The first phase of this campaign began in August, with the launch of this product. Until December, we have relied heavily on the Digital medium with intermittent cinema activations. In all, we created 8 films during the period. Together, these films have received over 15 million views on Facebook, YouTube, and other platforms, with over 35 million reach. We have garnered more than 1,06,000 engagements and about 11,050 shares. We also experimented with new affiliates, OTT, and apps for this campaign and have garnered promising results.

Considering the last quarter of the year is a crucial period for life insurers, we decided to up the ante and launched our mass media campaign with these two TVCs. While our focus on digital remains, TV, and OOH will form a considerable portion of this phase.

Through TV, we want to influence the influencer that is the woman of the household. While the purchase decision is more often made by the man, we believe women play a pivotal role in determining that decision. We are also targeting male, between 30-40 years, who is likely to have young kids and is at the right juncture to buy a term plan. OOH supports brand visibility around our 121 branches across India and augments any sales-led activations in the region.  

Through digital platforms, we are primarily looking at targeting millennials, who are typically always on the go and mobile/internet is where they consume most of their information.

We are also leveraging memes as content for creating buzz on the digital platforms. The idea is to use comical moments from both the ads to create relatable stories and invite people to comment on these memes. At a later stage, we might look at creating a platform that facilitates user-generated content.

From television to mobile, media consumption has evolved dramatically. As a BFSI brand which platform has managed to yield the maximum results for the brand? And why?

Although consumption of videos and content on the digital platform is increasing, TV continues to offer the highest reach. As per the latest Broadcast India Survey (2018) by BARC, there are now 197 million TV homes constituting to around 835 million individuals, while smartphone penetration is still at 300 million. So, as a relatively younger player in the industry, TV is an effective medium for us to achieve a vast reach that we desire.

For us, digital is more about performance. It allows us to create personas and reach out to those audiences specifically. It helps us in two ways – being present for people who are looking for products (intent of purchase) that I have to offer and secondly, allows us to identify and target potential customers (better segmentation and targeting) for the future.

It is about effectively using both traditional and digital media in synergy, harnessing their individual strength to create an effective and efficient campaign.

Also Read: Impact from digital on the minds of the consumers is almost 90-95%: Karthik Raman, IDBI Federal Life Insurance

Influencer marketing has become a buzzword over the last few years. In terms of BFSI as a sector, does the concept hold any value? Have you worked with influencers? If yes, how was the experience? 

Life insurance as a category is sold mostly through word of mouth and peer recommendations. Third party endorsements are crucial in our business because they establish credibility and build trust among our audience. So, for an industry like ours, it does play a crucial role.

However, driving influencer marketing commercially can only have a limited effect. It has to be based on relationship and the merit of the products & services a brand is offering.

Our current engagement with influencers is focused on creating a robust relationship with them and keeping them abreast of the latest developments in the company.

JFM being one of the most important quarters for BFSI brands, what has been your marketing plan for the same? Are there any marketing tactics that worked well for the brand?

January-February-March is indeed a big quarter for insurers. While there is unparalleled energy among our sales force, as marketers we support them by enhancing our brand visibility through mass media-led advertising. With product-led advertising like our TVs, there is a considerable push in consideration for the brand.

For Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance, having an industry-first proposition like Zindagi Plus augurs really well for communication. As mentioned before, we will be present on TV, Outdoor and Digital throughout this quarter. With a media mix of traditional and digital, we have managed to not only build saliency but also generate leads.

It is often said that ‘Client-Agency Relationship’ is a myth. What are your views on the same? Do you have separate agencies for Digital, Creative, & Media? Please take us through your agency structure and how it helps the brand.

Agencies are our consultants and partners. While we understand the nerve of our brand and customers, they are the ones who know the nuances of creating relevant communication.

I believe unless a Client and Agency work closely, the brand cannot effectively deliver results.

We have agencies on board that enable seamless execution on all fronts – Digital, Creative, and Media. They understand our ethos and our brand very well, which is why we are able to create quality content and effectively engage with our audience.

All the partners that we work with possess domain expertise which is crucial to this business. Having multiple agencies also helps the brand with multiple perspectives, ideas, and insights.

Typically, the creative agency understands our brief, decodes it with their creative department and zeroes in on the right communication in terms of art, copy and scripting. We have a media planning agency that helps in promoting this content on digital and TV.

2019 is slated to see big-ticket events such as Cricket World Cup and General Elections 2019 – how will this impact the advertising spends in the BFSI sector?

Both these events – General Elections 2019 and Cricket World Cup – are definitely high impact events that will see advertisers rushing in to grab the opportunity. Cricket is like a religion in India and certainly engages a lot of eyeballs. Similarly, the sentiment during elections is quite politically and socio-economically charged. The brand race to elections starts about 10 days before the event and runs at least 2-3 weeks post.

So, clearly, both these properties are expected to be cluttered with brands trying to find their space. In such a scenario, the quality of your content becomes important. Smart, witty and entertaining content will help in creating meaningful and memorable engagement.

How will Edelweiss Tokio Life be leveraging these events?

News and Sports are one of the top interest segments for our target audiences. Based on our experience, we have been able to attract promising visibility among our desired audience with both these interest segments.

Edelweiss Group as a whole feels strongly about sports and has a long association with athletes like Mary Kom, Saina Nehwal, Dipa Karmakar, and more who have represented India on a global stage. We also pride ourselves on being sponsors of Team India at the recently held Asian Games 2018, Common Wealth Games 2018 and the Rio Olympics in 2016. As a part of these associations, Edelweiss Tokio Life also extended insurance to athletes of Team India. As you may already know, we now have six of these iconic champions as our brand ambassadors – gymnast Dipa Karmakar, shooter Heena Sidhu, sprinter Hima Das, women’s hockey captain Rani Rampal, weightlifter Mirabai Chanu, and paddler Manika Batra.

We will continue to be associated with sports. But, as I mentioned before, the quality of content is what really matters during such high impact properties.

For now, our thought is to be digitally present on relevant platforms to target the audience interested in both these segments, but there is no concrete plan in place yet.