Rahul Talwar of Max Life on transforming a number into a humane narrative

Max Life

Rahul Talwar of Max Life Insurance shares insights into building long-term trust with a humane story that consumers relate to, and discusses surviving in the social world that’s haunted by the fast-paced nature of changing trends.

In conversation with Rahul Talwar, SVP & Chief Marketing Officer, Max Life Insurance Social Samosa deep dives into their recent brand campaign that transforms a core functionality into an emotive concept, along with insights on marketing BFSI products and services in a consumable tonality.

India Ke Bharose Ka Number

Max Life Insurance launched their integrated campaign ‘India Ke Bharose Ka Number’ to highlight the claims paid ratio as a representation of trust, the most crucial factor in the BFSI industry for customers. The initial idea for this concept stemmed from proposing Max Life Insurance as a liberating proposition’ rather than a ‘burdensome proposition’. “Our communication landscape is to celebrate the breadwinner, instead of showing them against the context of fear”, adds Rahul.

He further elaborates that while Indians are aspirational, we have this cultural tension of undervaluing ourselves, and the communication was anchored in the philosophy of helping them realise the value of their lives.

The creative and commercial approach for this campaign was fusing the two elements of celebrating the breadwinner of the house and highlighting the consistently improving claims paid ratio of the brand, as it’s a key performance metric that prospects look at when they evaluate brands in space of life insurance.

This category is consumed in long-term processing contracts, contracts that would run 20-40 years, and what stays along in this relationship is trust, and trust articulated in a universal way through an emotive narrative gave birth to the idea of ‘bharosa‘. “When you try and brand the claims paid ratio that exists with every insurance company, we started calling our claims paid ratio as Bharose Ka Number and when we started attributing the entire stature of India, that is where it became India Ke Bharose Ka Number”, he adds.

Remarking on the thought behind roping in Boman Irani as the campaign endorser, Rahul states, “We needed a voice that could carry the gravitas and the stature, that’s where Boman Irani came into our strategy. The core point we were trying to drive is that the breadwinner plays multiple roles, husband, friend, father, we realized the multi-dimensionality of Boman Irani is a core fitment, and we tried to play that out”.

The campaign is a brainchild between Sonal Dabral and Max Life Insurance, Sonal worked on the campaign as a freelance script and copywriter, and also directed the ad film. The brief given to Sonal was “to be able to ensure that while we anchor the functionality of claims paid ratio as the life insurance moment of truth, we are able to wrap around the emotiveness of the entire concept”.

As it is very easy to look at claims paid ratio in a functional way, “the minute you wrap the emotive quotient and bring out the multi-dimensional role of the breadwinner and personality, the human emotion story transitions into the brand story”, he adds.

Also Read: Chumbak Marketing Head on creating lifestyle-driven communication

Social Media Marketing

Max Life Insurance maintains a presence on social channels with various creatives around topical themes and occasion-based days, Rahul mentions that this approach “ensures you’re placing the brand in a tonality that the audience would like to consume”. As the audience consuming content on social is a wide spectrum, and after the pandemic, a lot of incremental audiences have also come to social platforms.

He further elaborates that the overall strategy is focused on consumers or customers depending on their position in the funnel, distributors, and employees. This approach stems from their all-encompassing integrated marketing strategy. “The aspiration is to reach the industry best benchmark to the likes of Amul today”.

The conversational nature of the content is the best way to ensure to be able to punch the weight in the digital ecosystem when it comes to brand mareting… whatever is being done in the digital space needs to balance performance marketing yet build the brand… “It can’t happen that we’re choosing one over the other,” he reckons.

Media Plan

Rahul believes that the marketing mix needs to be integrated. “Any brand that does not accept the integrated marketing mix as a concept is going to start looking jaded. There is an interesting fusion of choices happening, earlier what we used to call traditional choices are now digital choices”.

“Experimenting in today’s day and age is not a badge value its a given. We look at all these trends, and we work with an integrated media partner, Madison World is the integrated media partner we work with for both traditional and digital, scenario-building to ensure the best returns. It’s a 60-40 to 70-30 split between online and offline channels”.

Marketing Trends

In this day and age, marketing trends come up and are discarded at a faster pace, what works today may not work tomorrow. Maintaining ground in this scenario could be challenging, and here are a few insights by Rahul to survive in this fast pace changing nature of trends:

  • Agility in marketing teams is going to be a key skill set, earlier it was working through a quarter-on-quarter marketing calendar, and now it’s weekly if not fortnightly.
  • Harnessing insights and data is key, and insights are omnichannel, they come from market research, digital content consumption, social channels or offline channels
  • Marketers would have to believe in the philosophy of self-aware, self-realize, and self-act