Advertisment

In today's landscape, tokenism is all too common: Ruchika Varma

Future Generali’s new pride campaign emphasises creating inclusive environments for the LGBTQIA+ community. Ruchika Malhan Varma sheds light on the campaign’s development process, the brand’s overall marketing, and more.

author-image
Sneha Medda
New Update
Ruchika Varma

In early 2023, Future Generali India Insurance launched an OOH campaign featuring two queer couples on billboards, perhaps a first in the nation's traditional media landscape. After the insurance company realised that same-sex couples were not offered insurance policies, a product and campaign launch followed. 

Sharing why the brand decided there was a need for a focused insurance policy, Ruchika Malhan Varma, Chief Marketing, Customer, and Impact Officer at Future Generali India Insurance, said, “We discovered that same-sex couples were excluded from family floater health insurance due to the traditional definition of ‘family’. In response, we revised this definition for our health insurance products to be more inclusive and showcased real-life LGBTQIA+ couples in our advertising.”

As more insurance policies catering to the LGBTQIA+ community have been introduced at Future Generali in the last few years, the brand has now launched a new campaign speaking about the importance of inclusivity in insurance policies and otherwise. 

Titled #WelcomeHome, the campaign focuses on the concept of 'home' and aims to create a sense of belonging for the LGBTQIA+ community, who often navigate a world that lacks inclusivity, warmth, and hospitality. 

Speaking about the thought behind the campaign, Varma told Social Samosa, “Everyone deserves a safe and supportive environment where they can be their authentic selves, free from judgment and discrimination. Our #WelcomeHome campaign, which features real-life LGBTQIA+ talents, aims to highlight this fundamental need. The campaign showcases acceptance and celebrates the community; and highlights the importance of creating inclusive environments where everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, feels valued and accepted.”

Unlike the previous year, this year the brand aims to focus mainly on digital platforms to distribute the campaign, where their target audience is most active. Varma further said, “Our strategy is to prioritise the use of community influencers to amplify our message, enabling us to reach and resonate with our audience more effectively.”

Holistic marketing approach

To cater to wide consumer needs in the insurance sector, Future Generali had introduced a campaign in 2021 that raised awareness around mental health. The ad used inanimate objects to show the extreme pressure an individual goes through while suffering from mental health issues, later highlighting insurance policies that cover both physical and mental health issues that consumers face. 

At the core of this campaign lay consumer insights and emotions, which was also a pattern in 2024.

Speaking about the larger approach to marketing campaigns, Varma said, “Right brain marketing approach has helped us create communication that is thought-provoking, and insightful and has helped us build an emotional connect with our audience.” 

Last year, the brand introduced the D.I.Y Health campaign, encouraging consumers to personalise their health insurance policies. The brand stated that this new product and advertisement were designed based on customer feedback, highlighting the necessity for customisable health insurance options.

Varma further noted, “By consistently engaging with our target segments, developing propositions that fulfil their needs and communicating with them effectively, we have created a brand that stands for innovation and inclusion.” 

Understanding consumer needs

The representation of the LGBTQIA+ community in India’s advertising and media remains rare, often limited to superficial gestures like temporary logo changes or short-lived campaigns during Pride Month. 

As a brand that has products catering to the community and has identified key gaps in the insurance markets and brand ecosystem in representing these needs, Varma shared a few pointers for brands to follow.

“In today's landscape, tokenism is all too common. To be a true ally, brands must deeply understand the community's needs and identify their role in addressing them. This involves recognizing the gaps and genuinely finding ways to bridge them. My advice is to focus on this consistently throughout the year: understand what is required, implement the necessary actions, and then communicate your efforts,” said Varma. 

Referring to the campaigns and policies that Future Generali has worked on, Varma gave an example for brands to refer. She said that through ongoing customer engagement, they have identified various micro-segments that include the LGBTQIA+ community, understood their unique needs, and curated products specifically designed to meet those requirements.

“LGBTQIA+ individuals in India deserve equal employment opportunities, and it's essential for brands to actively embrace LGBTQIA+ employees. Recognizing them not only as a significant customer demographic but also as valued team members underscores a commitment to human rights and equality,” said Varma. 

By catering to different communities who otherwise struggle to have their insurance needs met, Future Generali will be focusing on cultivating a brand that can handhold its customers through their entire journey.

“We aspire to be recognized for our innovation, inclusivity, and human-centric approach. This journey is both short-term and long-term, as we believe that brand-building is a gradual process,” said Varma, sharing the company’s vision. 

WelcomeHome ruchika varma Future generali india insurance pride campaign