Archive for Max Newyork

Train of Thought

Posted in Advertising, Brand, India, Social networking with tags , , on July 14, 2008 by manuscrypts

Social media enthusiasts are often quizzed on the ROI that it delivers, and in many cases,  ‘conversation with customers’ is met with a lot of skepticism. which led me to wonder about the kind of ROI this activity would generate.

“Max New York Life Insurance has signed a Public Private Partnership (PPP) pact with the Indian Railways. From July 8, Chennai, Bangalore and Trivandrum Rajdhanis will sport Max New York Life advertising on its exterior.” It would provide upgraded services like high quality flooring, soap dispensers, tissue paper dispensers…. and so on. Great, I have always wanted that in those Harappan age railway compartments, though I always had a feeling Max was into insurance.

I can understand SBI having a co-branded card with IRCTC, Citi having a card for Delhi Metro etc, but the revenue/communication model that this venture of Max falls in, I fail to understand. Unless of course, Max will send an insurance advisor in the compartment. The ‘potential customer’ is trapped with him for the entire journey, and might buy a policy just to get rid of him.

Meanwhile, a couple of thoughts came to me when I read this post on Mumbai’s local trains. Every now and then, there is a horror story of how a gruesome accident occured in one of these trains. Doesn’t it make a lot of sense for an insurance company to do some contextual communication here? How about tapping this entire community which is so prone to such occurences?

The other thought that came to me was from a conversation on twitter on how religion is one massive social network. Unlike schools and colleges, which have a real life basis for networking, religion is spread across geographies with most users unaware of each other, and even has user generated versions springing up every now and then. Even the local trains in Mumbai offer a platform for a social network (no pun intended). I guess there are vertical networks like that all around, the only trick is to satisfy a set of needs and then be able to monetise it.

until next time, maximising social media

Insurance Maxims

Posted in Advertising, Brand, India with tags , , , on May 13, 2008 by manuscrypts

I bet all of you guys who’ve been following IPL would know Sanju by now. Sanju, who just gets lost in his iPod music, can’t hear his wife calling him, and ends up scaring the living hell out of her. And she’s not easily scared, judging by an earlier Vodafone ad 😉 In case, you really don’t know what I’m talking about, take a look at it here.

The Sanju situation is something that could happen to us at any point of time, and i think their understanding of the consumer mindset has been bang on target with this one. All of us, who know we’re not exactly in the healthiest of states, but haven’t done much about it since we believe in our immortality. The ad execution keeps you glued to the storyline, expecting the worst and finally delivering a ‘Oh thank God’ moment’, but leaving the message behind loud and clear. Its a story that I can identify with, and that makes it powerful.

Its part of a series of communication from Max New York. The other two that i have seen are this and this. Though the ‘child’s dreams’ path is a heavily trodden one (HDFC’s ‘Haan, Papa’ comes to mind immediately), the other two themes were pretty good and managed to strike a chord, at least in my case. And they’re definitely a good context led follow up for this.

The last one is the guy who’s been giving up his own dreams at various times and having his decisions forced upon him by various things like parental approval, family, its stability and security, children’s future etc, and finally during old age. The implementation is classic, as every time he almost takes a decision he sees his ‘responsibilities’ appearing before him. This one is for pension plans, and ends with its message to finally end those compromises. Again, very easy to identify with. Much better than this, for instance.

While its easy to say that most communication these days aims for slice of life scenes, its something very difficult to execute, especially since most brands like to hog footage. The difference in this set is that it gives the story most importance, gives a context and then shows how the product offers a solution. Incidentally, I also liked the humour pitch that was in vogue earlier –  this from TATA AIG, and HDFC’s take on other financial products like Savings or Mutual Funds. I wonder why HDFC didn’t adopt this tone for insurance, maybe they felt it was too serious a subject?

All well and good, but i always wonder about the role of brand vs performance as a factor in decision making as far as financial products go. Yes, you wouldn’t choose it if you didn’t know about it, but is heavy TV advertising the most optimal way to build equity?

until next time, i guess TVC works as some kinda insurance 😉