Case study: How Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance’s CSR campaign took their online initiative offline
26 Apr 2023
Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance launched a unique multi-city relay marathon called #PassItOn to educate and mobilise people towards the organ donation cause. Here, we dive into the details of what led to this campaign and how it made an impact on consumers.
India’s insurance sector is nearly 200 years old, and deep-rooted in our culture. The quintessential life insurance agent is an indelible part of the country’s social fabric and continues to be a key facilitator of people’s dreams and aspirations across the country.
Since the turn of the century, the sector has undergone a significant transformation, primarily owing to privatization. The sector has experienced a boom, an elongated period of turbulence in the aftermath of the 2008 recession and recovered into a sunrise sector for the Indian economy over the years. Since 2017, the private life insurance industry has grown at a CAGR of 12% and has claimed a significant mind and market share in the overall industry.
In recent years, a massive digital transformation has grabbed the Indian economy, and it was fuelled further by the Covid 19 pandemic. The insurance industry has been no exception; it has gone through a score of changes supported by digital solutions – from an overhauled customer onboarding experience to a faster claim settlement ratio, the industry is reorienting its customer experience strategy. However, one element of the life insurance sector continues to be irreplaceable – face-to-face interactions.
Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance established its pan-India operations in July 2011 with an immovable focus on protecting people’s dreams and aspirations. Guided by customer insights, the company has been offering need-based and innovative life insurance solutions to help customers live their #ZindagiUnlimited. With a customer-centric approach, the company endeavours to build a multi-channel distribution network to effectively serve its customers across the country.
In India, Life insurance continues to rely on face-to-face communication as customers prefer advice before making a purchase decision. During the last 2-3 years, the Covid-19 pandemic-induced limitations on physical movements had prompted brands to opt for digital communication with the customer. With the pandemic easing and the world returning to normalcy, Edelweiss Tokio Life believed it was time to reconnect with the customer IRL (in real life) and re-establish a human connection that has been compromised during the past few years.
The life insurer believed that an effective approach towards fulfilling this goal was through an initiative that seeks the participation of the public at large and can draw attention to a cause that is lacking adequate support. With this context, the life insurer decided on bringing back its Organ Donation initiative for a 4th edition, with the intent to take this campaign to the streets and corners of India.
Over the last 3 years, Edelweiss Tokio Life had largely driven awareness for this cause through digital efforts. But a post-pandemic world dictated that the campaign be taken to the ground this time around. Through a widespread BTL campaign, the life insurance company traced a heart on the map of India by travelling 5,500 km through 50 cities. Supported by robust PR efforts, the company was able to raise large-scale awareness regarding the need for organ donation.
In the 1st edition, the life insurer conducted widespread awareness regarding the need to pledge for organ donation & created a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for the highest pledges collected in a single day (54,626 pledges).
Lakhs of people die in India every year waiting for a life-saving organ. There are 2 challenges posing the organ donation landscape in India – a lack of awareness, and personal beliefs regarding organ donation including certain misconceptions.
The company realised that this was a critical limitation facing several Indians and can be resolved easily if people can be informed and educated about organ donation. As a brand that is actively involved in removing or minimizing limitations to protect people’s dreams and aspirations, it was vital for the life insurer to associate with this cause and contribute towards bridging the existing gap.
The life insurer wanted to undertake a massive BTL campaign and was looking to create a unique imprint across India through this campaign. It wanted the campaign to rest on a more sentimental axis rather than only an informative one.
Heart, an organ that can be donated after brain death, became the campaign’s focal point, with the insurer driving the narrative that India innately has a heart and that is what drives all of us individually to do better for others. That’s what became the central thought – tracing a heart on the map of India, while spreading a simple message – Pass It On.
The brand commissioned a study in 2019 called ‘Life After Life’, which showed that there were several misconceptions, and social stigmas that influenced people’s decision-making regarding organ donation. The study highlighted a certain degree of distrust in the healthcare system and suggested that religious beliefs also came into play when making a decision. However, at the heart of all these insights was one main element: Organ Donation isn’t discussed openly and that brings a certain element of negativity to the subject. The brand’s aim was to dispel these misconceptions and stigmas, but more importantly, bring organ donation into mainstream conversation.
The brand conceptualised a unique 20-day-long organ donation drive in the country. The focal point of the campaign was Zindagi Express, 2 branded canters, which were to travel the country and spread the message of #PassItOn. The Zindagi Express travelled on two routes – The eastern and Western belts of India – for about 5,500 kilometres across 50+ cities.
In this journey, the brand joined hands with MOHAN Foundation, an NGO active in the organ donation space since 1997, as a knowledge partner. This association, for the 4th year in a row, brought credibility to the information that the brand wanted to disseminate through its awareness workshops across geographies.
There were 4 key elements to their execution strategy:
A pre-determined travel route
The brand first identified a travel route across the country, including 12 pitstops wherein it will conduct heavy engagement in the form of awareness sessions with its partner MOHAN Foundation.
- They kickstarted the initiative in Hyderabad in the presence of their employees, distribution partners, State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization and media fraternity. It highlighted the challenges faced in donations; experts discussed the current landscape & shared inspiring true-life stories celebrating the spirits of donors, highlighting the vitality of organ donation.
- Zindagi Express commenced its journey on 2 routes & along the way made pitstops in Mumbai, Nashik, Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, and Gwalior on the Western belt and Raipur, Ranchi, Patna, and Lucknow on the Eastern belt. They conducted engaging activities at each pitstops in the form of awareness sessions in the branches, nukkad natak, bike rallies and walkathons etc.
- Throughout the route, the brand received significant support not only from its branches but also from the surrounding community, the local government, and the Regional or State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organizations.
- This journey concluded in Bhopal, wherein the company collaborated with the Bhopal School of Social Sciences to conduct a marathon in support of the organ donation drive.
- The cause received wholehearted support in Bhopal, with 900 runners participating in the marathon. Minister of Medical Education, and Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief & Rehabilitation Vishvas Sarang, Mayor Malti Rai, Collector and District Magistrate Avinash Lavania and the Bhopal Organ Donation Society all extended their support by attending the conclusion of the initiative.
- The insurer partnered with Radio City in Bhopal to promote the finale event and create excitement among the participants.
Robust Regional PR
The brand’s campaign relied heavily on a robust regional PR approach to ensure maximum amplification of the message. Through multiple media communication, the insurer created visibility for the cause in at least 62 cities across the country. During the 20-day span, the insurer interacted with about 500 journalists across cities. The campaign was covered in at least 8 major Indian language media.
The insurer undertook an extensive educational series for its workforce spread across 109 branches across 88 cities by leveraging multiple internal communication channels.
The brand conducted an interesting social experiment in its Head Office, wherein it set up an installation on the office premises to understand the mindset of its workforce towards organ donation. The installation prompted people to think about whether they should ‘waste’ their organs or pass on the gift of life to someone else. This experiment generated positive results, with all participants choosing to opt for organ donation.
To enable a wider reach of our message, this initiative was further supported by digital outreach primarily through the dissemination of interesting organ donation facts, debunking of myths, and sharing of inspiring donor stories.
The brand brought back our Organ Donation Rap Anthem to connect with a younger audience and encouraged internal as well as social participation through this anthem. Each pitstop made by the Zindagi Express was captured through video testimonials by their content partner NewJ and went a long way in furthering engagement and awareness.
- Successfully toured 5,500 km and passed through 50 cities along the way
- Conducted educational sessions at 12 pitstops during the journey and reached a total of 1.7 million + people through the campaign
- Created visibility in 62 cities in all 5 zones of the country, generating over 750 media impressions and a PR Reach of more than 14 Cr
- Interacted and was covered in media spanning 8 languages – Hindi, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Gujarati, and Urdu
- Interacted with 500+ journalists across various beats in India
- Internally, over 80% of employees correctly identified #PassItOn as the central theme of the campaign and a majority reported that the initiative was informative as well as relevant
- Only 2% employees reported that they would avoid organ donation; the remaining were either positive about organ donation or said they have already pledged for donation.
- Cumulatively, over the last 4 years, the life insurer has been able to reach 70 million+ people
Abhishek Gupta, Chief Marketing Officer, Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance, “After sustained digital efforts for the last 3 years, this was the right time to take our awareness efforts to the ground. When we embraced this social cause in 2019, our research showed us personal beliefs were the biggest roadblock in mobilising people for this cause. We, therefore, decided on taking inspiration from something fundamental that has worked well for the life insurance business – counselling people face-to-face. As a brand, we aspire to make people’s Zindagi Unlimited by striving to remove limitations from their lives. In India, lakhs of people die every year waiting for life-saving organs. We believe this is a critical limitation preventing several Indians to live a secure life and therefore we have been working on raising awareness for this cause since 2019”