CRIC

Canara HSBC OBC Life Insurance dips into nostalgia for their IPL campaign

The campaign drew parallels between cricket and life insurance, connecting stories about dependable players with dependable financial solutions

e4m by Neeta Nair
Updated: Oct 22, 2020 8:58 AM
Canara HSBC OBC Life Insurance

For everyone who was glued to their screens when India was chasing a formidable target of 275 against Sri Lanka in the cricket World Cup finals of 2011, ‘the Life Lessons from Cricket’ series is a heady shot of nostalgia. The digital series by Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance has Sanjay Manjrekar narrating Indian cricket’s high points and began with moments from India’s first-ever WC victory after 1983.  This is part of the brand’s new digital campaign around IPL called ‘Depend on Insurance’, which showcases the vitality of having a Life Insurance policy for unprecedented times. It makes a fabulous connect with cricket and how certain players rose up to the occasion, becoming the icon of dependability when the team needed it most. 

Talking about why they decided to rope in former cricketer & cricket commentator Sanjay Manjrekar for the narration, Tarannum Hasib, Chief Distribution Officer, Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance says, “We wanted a host with expert knowledge of the game, someone who had been both on the pitch and off the pitch and could share both points of view. Sanjay Manjrekar was the perfect choice for the face of ‘#DependOnInsurance’ campaign as he is a cricket commentator and former cricketer as well, having played international cricket for India from 1987 until 1996 as a right-handed middle-order batsman. A popular voice in the commentary box or at presentation ceremonies, Manjrekar has a knack for engaging storytelling that is rooted in his deep understanding of the sport.” 

But was it difficult to draw a connect between life insurance and cricket without making it look forced, Parul Ohri, Creative Director, Momspresso explains, “There is in fact a direct connect between the life lessons one can learn from Cricket and the key value that life insurance stands for - dependability. It was therefore not far-fetched to connect stories about dependable players on the field with a dependable financial solution like insurance.” 

Did Sanjay Manjrekar help with his immense knowledge of cricket to zero in on the stories? Ohri nods, “But of course, it was a long and careful process to sift through thousands of memorable match moments and shortlist the perfect five. But guided by Sanjay Manjrekar and his wonderful insights of what goes on during those high-pressure situations, we found the perfect stories of dependable cricketing legends who kept their promise to their team and country. While the stories are about cricket, they have an important life lesson about the need for dependability and are a spontaneous tie in to the dependability of life insurance. This is accurately summed up in the closing line of each film -  ‘Whether it is Cricket or life-  when you are on a sticky wicket, you need someone you can depend on, like Canara HSBC OBC Life Insurance’.” 

Sanjay Manjrekar clearly seems like an apt choice for the ad and with the ease of his storytelling helps visualize the incidents like they happened yesterday. With his thorough understanding of the game - both as a player and as a commentator - he explains the strategy behind a move or the mindset of a player dealing with a tough situation, leaving the viewer thoroughly engaged. However, at a time when most brands around IPL are going for short snappy videos which get attention immediately, why did the brand choose to do a long-format video? Hasib explains, “After much creative brainstorming, we chose the route of storytelling for this series. There are many memorable moments from the cricket field that still inspire awe and are perfect examples of dependability. You may be familiar with some of these incidents but when you listen to a veteran like Sanjay Manjrekar narrating them from his own perspective, you relive the excitement once again and learn something more or something different about them. He brings back the narrative to the important life lesson about dependability learnt from the incident. That's why the narrative or the storytelling is such an important part of each film in the series and demands a longer duration to create the build-up and the right impact of the story. And of course, with Sanjay Manjrekar's enthralling storytelling, you actually crave for more.” 

Canara HSBC OBC Life Insurance will be releasing a total of five videos in this digital series which will run throughout the IPL season. Talking about the behind the scenes action while shooting some of these videos Ohri says, “The shoot was an absolute dream, Sanjay Manjrekar was definitely one of the most interesting and comfortable celebrities we have worked with and his knowledge and passion for the game was evident in each take. Though we had a script, we found the storytelling was so much more engaging when Manjrekar narrated it in his own words, so expressively and with so much passion. It is difficult to pinpoint any one anecdote but the pre-shoot briefing and content generation meetings with him were definitely a great starting point. It was like a cricket history master class for us, as he recounted some of the best moments in Indian cricketing and gave his own observations on what actually must have been happening on the ground. The comfort level was set then and continued into the shoot. That also helped us to wrap up much sooner than expected.”

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