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TV News as a genre has really worked for us

4/4/23 10:59 AM 


Against the backdrop of the ‘Guaranteed Returns’ campaign, Abhishek Gupta, Chief Marketing Officer, Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance talks in-depth about the brand journey and how television news is an effective medium for them to reach the right target audience.


What was the idea behind the ‘Guaranteed Returns’ campaign?

If you look at insurance as a financial instrument, it solves two very broad purposes of protection and long-term wealth creation. While everybody is fairly aware about the protection aspect, awareness around protection insurance as an instrument of wealth creation is low given the extremely volatile external environment. We have a situation where banks are failing and the interest rates are heavily fluctuating. We also have a situation where predictability of the markets and therefore the interest rates and the savings rate would fluctuate. It is not so easy to predict all of this. We believe there is definitely a need, from a consumer side, for an instrument which offers guaranteed returns over a longer period of time because, ultimately, insurance is a long-term instrument. That was the thought behind coming up with the product and this campaign.


Which mediums were utilized to market this product and to reach the right target audience?

Our target audience is primarily males within the age group of 25 to 50 years. There are females as well because they actually play a double role in this. Women are influencers with a major say in purchase decision and they are also the primary purchasers. So we are targeting both men and women in the age group that I mentioned. We are actually doing a full 360-degree campaign. We are running the campaign on TV in select markets. We are doing outdoors across the country, and all of this is being supported Digitally. We are also supporting the product through on ground activities at places where our customers are.


Which mediums do you use to effectively target the right audience?? Can you elaborate on how you distribute your advertising budget across various platforms?

Our advertising budget is divided predominantly between three major mediums - TV, Outdoor, and Digital. 40% of it goes towards TV, 40% towards Digital and the remaining 20% towards Outdoor at a broad level. 


What are the factors that influence your choice of medium, Digital or TV?

This would be dependent on the purpose of my reach. If the purpose is a product launch, then I would focus on digital; when it is a sales-driven campaign, where I am launching a new product, I am looking at getting certain numbers from that particular product. Therefore, for any campaign which has an immediacy of numbers attached to it, I would go with Digital.

But suppose if I am doing a brand campaign around festivals or around generic protection plans, generic investments or guaranteed plans, my primary medium would be TV because we are not just looking at immediate results but also at building my brand attributes and saliency for a longer period of time.


TV news is one of the popular mediums of communication due to its reach and loyal viewers. Do you think brands should advertise more on TV as compared to other media platforms?

This will also depend on the brand’s journey and the objective behind the campaign. If the objective is awareness, then there is no better medium than TV currently. TV offers a reach that no other channel can offer at that cost. So, if I look at cost per thousand as a parameter, TV is the most effective medium. But if you want to run a precisely targeted campaign, then Digital is the way to go.


Can you share some insights on how exactly you use TV to market your brand now?

We figure out what our customers are watching and there are two very clear genres which emerge. One is News and the other is Sports which are very relevant for us on TV. Between these two we always have to take a call and we either choose one of them or we look at an optimum mix of the two. We generally decide to go with one.  And we have gone ahead with TV News as a genre because what we have observed is that it has really worked well for us.

Sports is highly event driven, and we can use it only during IPL or any other series going on. And so, unlike with news, where I have the flexibility to plan my campaign around my timelines, with sports, I have to plan it around those events. 

That’s why we prefer news and within news once we have selected the genre, we then look at the affinity on the basis of which channels are finally selected. After selecting the news channels, we select the time slots where we want to be present. This is actually a clear-cut decision between the budgets we have and the kind of reach we want to get. 


Is TV News considered in the marketing mix specifically during slowdowns? What are your views on this?

I do not agree with that. The marketers will go where their customers are. Thankfully there's something or the other always happening in this world which makes the news channels evergreen. Also because of they offer a very interesting viewpoint on mundane affairs. That’s why the news channels have got a huge number of viewers. So, it doesn't matter whether it is a slowdown or not. For us, news will remain a number one priority whenever we have to advertise on TV. I don't agree that marketers tend to go towards news channels only during a slowdown. Marketers will go where the customers are.


Can you shed some light on your brand journey and how ETLI has strengthened over the years. Also, what are the other innovative marketing strategies ETLI uses to reach masses?

As an 11-year-old company, we are still the youngest life insurance company in the country. We operate in a very crowded marketplace with 24 other players. It is also highly polarized with the market leader having 50% plus market share. It is extremely crowded from a communication perspective also.

When we started our business, we decided to focus on consumer needs only and therefore we began the brand with the positioning ‘Insurance se badhkar hai aapki zaroorat’. It was launched in 2012. We went a step further where a couple of our advisors went back to customers in the early stages of business saying that, currently, we don't have a product as per your need, but we have something more and better to offer you.

Over a period of time, what we realized is that this need-based approach became stable, not just for life insurance but also for wealth management. After 6-7 years of ‘Insurance se badhkar hai aapki zaroorat’ we decided to move towards our new positioning in which we tried to meet the aspirations of the consumers. That’s when we launched ‘Zindagi Unlimited’. We are into life insurance business and therefore our positioning now is ’Zindagi Unlimited’. At a very broad level, we are into the business of helping customers overcome limitations in their lives.  We believe this positioning has found favour with customers as well as with our distributors who are an extremely important part of our business.

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