The theme for this year’s edition of Pitch CMO Summit 2014, held in Mumbai on March 24, was “Reinventing Brands”, where Rituraj Bhattacharya, Head of Product Development and Market Management, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance spoke on the art of brand activation. Pitch CMO Summit 2014 was powered by Colors. Citing the example of the Bajaj Allianz Football Camp, Bhattacharya touched upon the thought and purpose behind the company’s country wide campaign that was launched in 2010, growing from 40 cities in its first year to 120 cities in its fourth year in 2013.
Moderating the session was Monica Tata, Managing Director, HBO India who introduced Bhattacharya. She said, “RiturajBhattacharyahas been with the company for over 11 years, of which about three to four years have been in marketing. His marketing objective is to create an identity and a vision by providing comprehensive solutions rather than just focusing on the product. Brand activation plays a huge role when it comes to consumer interaction and brand recall. It is interesting for a product category like life insurance to think out of the box and target kids. Furthermore, in a cricket-crazy country like India, it is challenging to base one’s activation strategy on a sport like football.”
Bhattacharya mentionedthat life insurance has always been product-driven and distribution-led. He said, “We increasingly felt the need to do something different in order to create familiarity for the brand.We decided to talk to the child in the family. It was an interesting moment as childrenare not the decision maker in a family anddon’task parents to buy life insurance. But, theyare the centre of attention in every family, it is their dreams and aspirations that parents are concerned with.”Commenting on brand activation, he said, “Activation is nothing but interaction. And interaction has to be meaningful.” He explained, “Our aim was to show people that dreams can turn into reality. We wanted to reach out to parents through their children’s aspirations. In our country, sports are considered nothing more than an extra-curricular activity whereas children in the age group of 14 to 16 are increasingly thinking seriously about sports. We found it pertinent to make parents realise that sports can play a big role in their children’s life and benefit their future.”
Explaining the reason behind choosing football instead of cricket, Bhattacharya said, “Football as a sport needs heavy endorsement in this country. Through our activation, we got responses from educational institutes across the country invitingus to their city to look at the number of children in the age group of 14 to 16 who were playing football. The sport is picking up and we want to promote it by creating engagement for children and parents.”
Tata asked if associations and brand activations such as these result in revenue growth, to whichBhattacharya replied, “From the initial period itself, when we signed up for such a property, our purpose was to make this a completely non-product oriented activity. The purpose was not to promote insurance, it was to highlight ourselves as a brand that wanted to create a memorable moment in the consumer’s life and thereby executing our ability to think big and deliver a promise. It’s not just limited to, for instance a child from Jharkhand, when he makes his way to the Allianz Arena, but the joy extends to his parents and his entire community who begin to believe in the dream. We as a brand go by the tagline, “JiyoBefikar”,so our aim is to highlight that if you genuinely believe in your dream, you can achieve it.”