Life insurance conversation demands gravitas: Rahul Talwar, Max Life Insurance

Max Life Insurance Company Limited is a joint venture between Max Financial Services Limited and Axis Bank Limited. Max Financial Services Ltd is a part of Max Group, an Indian multi-business corporation.

Max Life offers comprehensive protection and long-term savings life insurance solutions, through its multi-channel distribution, including agency and third-party distribution partners. Max Life has built its operations over almost two decades through a need-based sales process, a customer-centric approach to engagement and service delivery and with trained human capital.

Recently, Max Life Insurance signed up Rohit Sharma and his wife Ritika Sajdeh as their brand ambassadors. Rohit Sharma and Ritika Sajdeh are an example of a perfect, trusted partnership, each one enabling the other to realize their ‘real’ value and achieve their goals. More importantly, they are firm believers in being equal participants in making decisions to protect the financial future of their family. The brand characteristics of both will further strengthen the equity of Max Life Insurance and will also add credibility to their various products that they are offering.

In an exclusive chat with Adgully, Rahul Talwar, Chief Marketing Officer, Max Life Insurance, gives a complete rundown on the choice of their new brand ambassadors and how they plan to maximise their inherent strengths through various campaigns and engagement with their audiences.

Insurance is a low involvement category. How can a brand ambassador like cricketer Rohit Sharma help Max Life and what is his role?

Our marketing strategy is defined keeping the customer/ consumer at the core of our brand agenda. Our motto for the strategy to be anchored is #ABCDE, meaning “Always On Brand for Customers, Distributors, and Employees”. This is guided by our belief in celebrating the customer/ consumer, who happens to be the breadwinner; we nudge the emotion of being “Self Aware leading to Self-Realize and hence Self-Act”. The communication platform that carries the brand message forward across the funnel is “You Are The Difference”.

The idea is to build awareness for Max Life Insurance, educate customers and drive a credible narrative on why financial protection is important. This reflects across the brand efforts, including our pan-India surveys, which build credibility as thought leaders – India Protection Quotient and India Retirement Index Study that gauge the country’s financial awareness and preparedness, our social media assets that drive financial knowledge among online consumers and how we leverage influencers to pivot positive conversations on life insurance.

Under “You Are The Difference”, we have been consistently building differentiation and brand consideration on the back of protection/ term insurance focused communication strategy. As we move forward, we aim to position Max Life Insurance as a one-stop-solution for all financial protection needs of our customers/ consumers via life insurance products. With this objective, our association with the sporting icon and Indian cricket team captain Rohit Sharma and his spouse, Ritika Sajdeh, is a step towards driving home the importance of early financial planning, especially among the young consumers, encouraging them to be aware and prepared for all eventualities. The duo represents trust, credibility, independence and carry the flag of being “Self-made” – qualities that resonate with Max Life and this partnership is a key milestone in our journey to becoming India’s most admired, trusted life insurance brand.

Why do you think Rohit Sharma and his wife Ritika Sajdeh are the right fit for Max Life? What were the criteria for aligning with them?

Rohit Sharma and Ritika Sajdeh are an example of a perfect, trusted partnership, each one enabling the other to realise their ‘real’ value and achieve their goals. Rohit draws a wide appeal in the country, his rise from modest beginnings to the captaincy of the cricket team is an inspiration to millions. His passions are ably supported by Ritika, who is an equally strong, determined and self-made professional. Importantly, they are firm believers in being equal participants in making decisions to protect the financial future of their family. Together, they personify our philosophy, ‘You are the Difference’, and align with our ideals to financially protect customers against life’s many uncertainties. Their selection as our brand ambassadors underwent the rigour of research and strategic inputs from our partner ecosystem (Madison World, FCB Interface, Kantar Insights).

How do you plan to leverage them apart from the TVC and films?

Max Life Insurance has a strong suite of protection and long-term savings products that offer financial stability to families, especially the millennial segment. We are also strengthening our retirement offerings that support individuals in their second innings. The two-year-long brand partnership with Rohit and Ritika aims to enable Max Life Insurance in enhancing its already strong imagery across all product categories, besides other marquee campaigns anchored in the brand’s promise of Bharosa and #YouAretheDifference. We will leverage the media insights and behaviours of our target audience to deliver an integrated omni-channel media plan.

What is the expectation set for the brand and how do you plan to measure the impact of your campaign leveraging the power couple?

Through our campaign planned across digital and traditional media this year, we are aiming to increase our reach and create enhanced engagement across touchpoints. This will play a vital role in moving the needle on our brand consideration score, and in turn, our business numbers. The brand’s connect with millennials will be a key aspect that we will monitor in our syndicated brand track studies.

Why did you choose a brand ambassador from cricket and not from so many other sports that are now becoming popular in India?

Life insurance conversation is a “real” conversation and demands gravitas. Sports idols offer the realism that acts as an anchor point for an essential-product-for-all called Life Insurance.

While India houses two important engines in its culture – entertainment and sports, we opted for Sports when we began this journey of identifying our long term brand ambassador. Within sports, our aim was to be able to universally connect with our audience which is spread across the width of our distribution today (and tomorrow). India is home to 13 crore sports fans and cricket leads with 12.4 crore fans, making it the most popular and followed sport in the country. This offers an opportunity to tap into a vast audience base of engaged viewers and promote the significance of financial wellbeing and readiness.

Both on and off the field, uncertainties can take you by surprise and it is essential to equip yourself and your loved ones with financial protection against unforeseeable challenges. Just as the protective gear is essential to safeguard cricketers on-field, life insurance is the most important component for financial protection in life. Our association with one of the biggest and most trusted names in the game takes this message ahead seamlessly.

To further enhance the realism in this partnership, we decided to rope in Ritika Sajdeh as Rohit’s life partner and hence, make the brand strategy of “self-aware, self realise and self-act” anchored in a progressive young family life.


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