Sanjeev Kotnala: Insurance advertising still dominated by rationality and logic

20 Oct,2021

Sanjeev KotnalaBy Sanjeev Kotnala


In the past, insurance advertising dominated print. Educating the potential customers was then considered a top priority. Insurance pushed through agents scouting for the next ill-informed victim, someone clueless about what they were buying into. The other part was the legally enforced insurance policies like the automobile and group insurance., where the process was completely different.


Today, there are portals helping customers transparently compare policies and directly buy them at a discount. In the case of a standard insurance policy, the agent is slowly moving out of the picture.


Insurance companies are closing down offices as technology allows for better customer interface and experience. Consumers have started appreciating the financial science behind the stability insurance policies provide. The customers are more open to buying life, Mediclaim, accidental, term plans, motor vehicle, house, fire, and other insurance policies.


However, insurance advertising is still dominated by rationality and logic. Life Insurance policies stay away from talking about the second truth in life- death. And death could be used differently.


Insurance advertising, not surprisingly it is all about Saam ( Logic), Daam (Price), Dand (Penalty) and Bhed (Doubt and differentiation). It is true that legally the Insurance companies and policies cannot do or say much.


In this scenario, the ad by Ladder Insurance for its Life Insurance policy created by Fred & Farid (Los Angeles) seems so fresh. It is really unexpected and at least not seen in the Indian market. And they have really been at trying to make a difference using technology in the insurance space.


Whereas in the Indian market, we try to avoid reference to death in advertising – here, the storyline depicts the whole family attempting to kill the insured person. And the thought, “Life insurance so good, they’re gonna want you dead”, is so apt to sum it.



If that is not surprising enough, the disclaimer takes the cake. “But seriously, intentionally killing a policyholder will void all life insurance benefits”. That’s it. This clutter-breaker insurance policy ad remains in your head and is definitely memorable.


I would say differentiated ads with a strong storyline stand out in any category- and the case of insurance is no different.


The old Thai insurance ad ‘Believe in Good’ is still fresh in my mind.



And then here is the Policy Bazar ad- of doing good!.



So, is the SBI Life Insurance- ‘Heray Ko Kya Pata tumhari Umar’.



The one that I recall most- the death scarring one for Max New York Insurance.



One needs to be reminded, and the whole ad featuring Irfan Khan ad for Religare Insurance comes back. It logically explained ‘Kum Insurance Lene Ki Bimari’ was fresh and differentiated when it was launched.


And then you must watch the Metlife ad-My Dad is a liar.



And then this humorous ad for life insurance – and you would realise, insurance can be fun and the message delivered with relevance, originality and impact.




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