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Birla Sun Life Insurance seeks to smoothe the fluctuations of life

16-September-2009
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Birla Sun Life Insurance seeks to smoothe the fluctuations of life

Being successful is often mistaken for the amount of clout or wealth one possesses. But the reality is that whatever be the approach to become successful, wealth usually follows success. And wealth is usually the conduit to achieve one’s dreams. But the journey to those coveted dreams often takes a lifetime. Keeping this in mind, Birla Sun Life Insurance has created a product solution – Wealth with Protection Solution, and it was JWT’s task to map out a powerful and relevant communication strategy. The TV campaign encompassing this strategy is set to break on September 17.

Speaking on the campaign, Kishore Tadepalli, Vice President & Client Services Director, JWT, said, “The campaign was based on a simple premise – money fulfills dreams, the fulfillment of these dreams is the best parameter to judge success and one can make this money only through solid financial planning, by taking account of both the ‘ifs’ and the ‘if nots’.”

The ad is targeted at the modern ambitious Indian in the 30-35 age bracket, who is on the road to progress, is successful, well settled, and probably has kids too. The insight to the campaign was born out of fact that was a precipitation of certain basic traits of this modern ambitious Indian. People believe in the ability to achieve their dreams, they want to reach their goals fast. People also want to enjoy this journey of ascent and want to feel the power to be able to step change their fortunes. But, he is not willing to confront a reality in case of an unforeseen event in this journey.

In the light of these facts, choosing the protagonists around whom this campaign would be built and the treatment and execution of the creativity became all the more important. The over-riding belief among the TG was the journey till one becomes successful is the most critical and the journey after that will take care of itself, which is far removed from the truth. When one is successful, one needs to try doubly hard to retain it.

The approach to the creative was based on this truth. Tista Sen, Executive Creative Director, JWT Mumbai, said, “We wanted a successful person himself to communicate his insecurity. The protagonists had to have mass appeal, recognition and they had to be widely accepted as being successful. And all fingers pointed out to great Indian past-time – Cricket.

Cricketers or sportsmen in general have short careers. The great question mark is always the next match, the next innings, or even the next ball. The great ascent can all come down crumbling with poor form, injury or competition. But with the hype around their careers and their lifestyles, there is almost an accepted belief that once you are a cricketer and make it to the national team, life is settled. Here again, the reality is far removed. And recent cricketing memory pointed out to two great sportsmen that the game as ever seen – Yuvraj and Sehwag. Both had their shares of highs and lows. With individual records of achievement and the fame and recognition to boot followed up with the media and fans writing them off due to poor form.”

To achieve the mandate of shaking the TG from their apathy and lead them to action, the message should appear genuine and honest. Whatever the cricketers did on camera, it was very clear from the onset that the attempt should not look like yet another endorsement for them. Pradyumna Chauhan and Shweta Iyer, Senior Creative Directors, who conceptualised and wrote the campaign, said, “Everything fell into place after we came up with expression – ‘Jab tak balla chalta hai, thaat chalte hain… Warna…’. Even while scouting for the right director, it was amazing to see how all who read the script took to this line… They gave two thumbs up to it and showed extreme interest to do the films. But after several meetings, we chose Nikhil Rao, because of the vision he created for these TVCs.”

It took nearly two months and several attempts to finalise the narrative. And the format agreed upon was a very innovative one. To have no scripts at all. The entire careers of the cricketers were plotted with their highs and lows. And only questions were finalised about these, almost like a candid talk.

Chrome Pictures’ Nikhil Rao said, “It was a collaborative effort from the start. Everyone was aligned to using the celebrity cricketers in the most honest fashion. We did a lot of research before we finally decided on the format. And what we actually went on to do is probably something not many people would have attempted, or at least not done so far.”

Tista Sen added here, “The Birla Sun Life Insurance campaign is an honest and refreshing take on the realities of life as we know it. The use of cricketers goes beyond just brand endorsement and truthfully echoes an insight everybody identifies with. Life is uncertain and we should be prepared for any eventuality, this message is heightened even further when we hear it from the very cricketers we admire and emulate.”

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