Ananya Saha
Jan 09, 2014

‘The consumer is moving online, and comfortable buying insurance online’

Q&A with Jyothsna Pai, VP, marketing and corporate communication, Bharti AXA General Insurance, on the ‘Working Patient’ initiative

‘The consumer is moving online, and comfortable buying insurance online’

Bharti AXA General Insurance launched a digital campaign to create awareness of the importance of a critical illness health insurance policy. The campaign, which debuted towards end of December 2013, is an extension of the brand’s television campaign launched a month prior.

The online videos, currently being promoted on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, show ordinary people suffering from critical illnesses but are forced to work owing to financial commitments. The attempt has been to take a humorous, slice-of-life approach towards people from different occupations – women, entrepreneurs, working professionals. The message is that a critical illness could affect anyone. Publicis Ambience created the TVC, while the digital campaign was created by Publicis iStrat.

Watch the videos (story continues below)

Jyothsna Pai, vice-president, marketing and corporate communication, explains more about the campaign. Read on.

What was the idea behind this digital communication?

We did a consumer research and found out the people thought health insurance pays only hospitalisation costs. We wanted to educate people that there is critical illness insurance that can come to their aid and give them compensation. It empowers them as they can use the money to pay hospital bills and also to manage day-to-day expenses.

We wanted to bring in a change in perception among our target audience and communicate that our health insurance product offers 360-degree protection.

We launched our website and made it e-commerce-savvy. Given that our core audience was on internet, we were looking at getting them on to our website and buy the insurance product. We went a step further, dramatising the whole point to the idea of a working patient.

Were television and digital the preferred media for this campaign?

In terms of media mix, we looked primarily at television and digital. Since the consumption of the online audience, on TV, was largely on niche channels (than GECs), we advertised heavily on niche channels without including GECs in our media plan.

While TV is seen as dominating in terms of media spends, we spent a large portion of our media budget on digital as well. To use the digital medium more effectively, we researched among our TG, typically 25 to 45-year olds in SEC A, B. We looked at their online consumption and figured how to tap into them and create awareness for the product, and be entertaining as well.  That’s how we hit upon the idea of viral video. We have done seven viral videos, which have been shot specifically for digital and four of them target a particular segment.

Were there phases to your digital campaign as well?

We were looking at two phases - TV and digital. There was a part of digital that we built alongside TV, which was banner ads. The banner ads matched the content on the website. For instance, if it was a news channel website, we had a line saying ‘Breaking News’ and it was targeted more at the newsy audience. If it was on Naukri, the banner ad said, ‘Don't change the job, change the insurance’.

The second phase of digital is viral to keep the same proposition alive for longer. We are pushing one viral video a week. But all are available on Youtube, Facebook and our website.

Are you looking at on-ground activation too?

We also took it a step ahead and thought of shooting a guy walking around in a hospital gown on the Mumbai roads with hidden cameras. More than an activation idea, what we worked on was three geographic segments: once is a Sikh, another is a Bengali in a coffee shop and the third a Malayalee who is trying to get into a bus. And these are actual people who have gone on-ground with people asking them, “How can you go to work in a state like this?”

We have created a tabloid called ‘Patient Times’ with the caption ‘Watch the working patient’. We have also run a contest at the end of the viral video, asking people to share their stories about having to go to work when they were sick.  This will lead to relatability, and lot of people are writing in such instances.

We are also looking at creating cartoons – of how people view insurance, in Dilbert-like manner, on digital. Also, some of the stories shared by people of how they felt being a ‘working patient’ will be converted to cartoons.

How do you measure effectiveness of such campaigns?

We look at virality, reach and share of each of these videos. While all of us want to be the next Kolaveri when it comes to viral, the idea is how we can make our specific audience to look at and share these. We measure the engagement rate.

It is very early days. We have managed to reach over 1.5 lakh people. And we are looking to reach over one million views by the time the digital campaign is over. We haven’t yet started promoting the video of the people (walking patients). Currently, we have an engagement rate of over one percent, which is good. We are hoping to push this up further.

Has the viral video resulted in increasing sales as well?

Our website visits have doubled.

Would digital continue to be a lead medium for Bharti AXA General Insurance?

Digital is going to be a primary medium for us to focus on given that the consumer is moving online, and is comfortable buying insurance online.

We hope to build the brand as well as convert sales using digital.

Campaign India