HDFC Life takes a hard-hitting stance on people ignoring health insurance

Continuing with an insight-driven approach for its marketing campaigns, HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company’s latest campaign, conceptualised by Leo Burnett, stresses on the need to go for regular health check-ups and prepare financially to face any adversities. 

Launched on the digital platform, the 2-minute long ad film features two celebrities who are real-life critical illness survivors – Actor/Model Lisa Ray and Actor/Comedian Suresh Menon. The two are seen talking about why the mirror has always been a liar to them. 

Liar Mirror 

The campaign highlights the need for health insurance by using a simple and relatable analogy of ‘Liar Mirror’. The mirror is often taken as an indicator of health in our busy lives. It is assumed that if a person looks fit externally, she is in good health. 

HDFC Life has attempted to break this myth and bring about a change in the mindset of people. The film highlights the stories of two popular faces – Suresh Menon, a heart ailment survivor, and Lisa Ray, a cancer survivor. Suresh and Lisa talk about how they appeared completely fit from the outside, only to be diagnosed with serious ailments. The ad shows the survivors talking about the need to take a look inside, go for health check-ups and prepare financially to face any adversities. 

Pankaj Gupta, Chief Marketing Officer & Executive Vice President, Strategic Alliances, Bancassurance & Specialty Sales, HDFC Life, elaborated, “In India, we have become conscious of our diet and exercise regimen, but still have deep inertia when it comes to regular health check-ups. Non-communicable diseases are on the rise and we wanted to address this increasingly serious social issue in the most realistic way. Hence, we used the testimonial approach and are delighted to be associated with Lisa & Suresh on this campaign. They are real fighters who have survived their respective challenges and emerged victorious, thereby resonating with our brand message of ‘Sar Utha ke Jiyo’. We urge people to not just believe what they see in the mirror, but also delve deeper and be #Ready2Fight.” 

He further said, “We have worked hard on this campaign. We have done multiple iterations of how to execute, what ideas would work best in this particular product category. We are keeping our fingers crossed and do hope to get good results for this campaign.” 

On the creative front, Rajdeepak Das, MD – India & CCO – South Asia, Leo Burnett, said, “It is a simple way to demonstrate what the truth is. When you look in the mirror every morning, you think everything is right, but there are things happening that you cannot see. We are a Humankind brand and we wanted to solve a human problem – so people can realise the truth.” 

Commenting on the campaign, Suresh Menon said, “When I was approached with the idea, I could immediately relate to it. I felt this was my story. Back then, I never expected to have a heart issue and it came out of nowhere. I believed I was fit and healthy. This campaign rightly breaks the myth that looking fit and being fit are not necessarily the same.” 

Lisa Ray added here, “In my case, there were not many visible signs telling me that I was unwell. One moment I was leading my life, traveling and working in films and television around the world, and in the next I was diagnosed with cancer. The other important aspect, which this campaign talks about, is the financial preparation. Medical expenses are steep and you could run up bills that erode your savings very quickly. Hence, being financially prepared today is a very important aspect of investing in long term good health.” 

In conversation with Adgully, Pankaj Gupta speaks at length about the strategy behind the campaign, the issues face by the health insurance companies in India, building trust and connect amongst consumers and more. Excerpts: 

What was the strategy behind the campaign thought?
At HDFC Life, we are engaged in finding out what is happening in the world around us and how that links to our core company objective as well as to our core brand proposition. If you look at our past campaigns, we have tried to pick up those themes. Last year, we ran a very successful campaign, called ‘Young and Responsible’. The insight behind that campaign was that many people perceived youngsters to be not very responsible, but if you look beyond the perceptions and at the actual trends, youngsters today are far more responsible than the earlier generations. They are far more ambitious, far more focused and like to do things in their own way. The insight was that while people might realise they need to be healthy and need health insurance, the need to buy the product is pushed to the background. 

The ‘Sar Utha Ke Jiyo’ campaign still has a strong resonance. How are you tapping into its popularity?
We have been asking ourselves this question very seriously. We have re-evaluated whether the proposition still resonates with our target audience, whether it is still relevant today. How the world around us has been changing in the last couple of years. There is more and more shift towards younger customers, towards digital channels as social norms keep changing. Our country is a large one, does the campaign resonate across the length and breadth of the country? These are the questions that we keep asking ourselves. 

Last year, we did a detailed exercise around this. The finding was that this was one of the most well recognised lines in our industry and people were immediately able to link it to our brand and our proposition. In terms of our link to our core proposition also it continues. But we may have changed as to how we execute the idea. For example, earlier we might have shown a retired person who is probably living a life of self-respect along with his spouse. The edition today might feature a relatively younger person who is living life despite all the challenges that he/she may have come across and how they are facing those challenges. So, the core proposition still remains relevant, while the interpretation may have changed in some ways. 

Is the latest campaign a wake-up call to those people who procrastinate when it comes to their own heath as well as their families?
That is the idea of the campaign. The fact is we do not know what happens inside us on a daily basis. All we can do is take precautions at the right time and buy the product while we still have the opportunity. 

Which agency is behind this campaign? Which production house has executed this campaign?
We have various digital agencies that we use. Our Creative Director is Pranav Harihar, while Leo Burnett is our creative agency. 

What is the media mix for the latest campaign?
This campaign is primarily going to be on digital platforms with a lot of social media activity. We also want to do a lot of OOH, cinema, and local activation. We will follow a multi-channel strategy. 

Another thing that we do is observe the results of our campaign across channels. As we move along the campaign, some flexibility is retained to change the campaign depending upon the response it receives. Additionally, we consciously work in close association with our business partners. For example, our health team has set an objective that they want to achieve by the year end and build upon how the campaign is helping them achieve their overall objectives. Our business partners at times come back and ask for more support on certain campaigns. We do hope that we get the same kind of traction and response here. Considering their objectives, we move forward with our business strategy and planning. 

How expensive are these policies?
The policies are not really expensive if you look at them. There are a few cost points based on the age of the person applying, etc. But overall you can afford a policy with a couple of thousands for lakhs worth of coverage. 

People are a somewhat hesitant when it comes to buying health insurance. There are a lot of dos and don’ts and fine print involved, which a common man doesn’t look at while buying a policy. How have you addressed this issue?
What we have done as a life insurance company is ensured our policies are non-indemnity policies. What happens in non-indemnity policies or fixed benefit policies is that upon the diagnosis, the fine print is unlikely to catch the customer’s off-guard. For example, let’s say there is a cancer survivor based upon an early stage diagnosis, there is a fixed amount of benefit that the customer gets on the basis of the policy counts. 

You have roped in two celebrities who have survived major illness. How do you plan to build connect using their personal experience?
If you see a celebrity whose face you recognise and you can relate their context to your own personal context, then it is our feeling that the ability to relate to the campaign is far higher in that respect. If a person you recognise is talking about a real situation that has happened in their life, then the conversation goes to what is happening in our own lives. Then the urge to go out and buy a policy is that much stronger.

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