Finally, we get to see some humour in a commercial that’s selling insurance
Good to watch ads from an insurance company that try to generate some laughter. Usually ads in this category are far too serious and moribund. Aegon Religare has released a set of three hilarious commercials. Yes, the humour is dark, yet quite funny.
In the first commercial, we see three dudes returning home in their car, from what appears to have been a wild costume party. They are dressed in animal costumes.
One chap, who's decked up as a deer, decides he needs to urgently relieve himself as they pass by a forest area. But a hunter (was that macho stud Salman Khan?) mistakes the poor sod to be a black buck, and shoots at him. Finito! In another commercial, a typical office exec is seen chatting away on his mobile, as he pompously struts around the office corridors. And finally decides to lean against a window pane of the high-rise building, not realising the window is open! Down goes the high-flying dude! Oops! The third one is actually the funniest of the lot. This one features the famous Lokhandwala Laughter Club. Where the otherwise unhappy, sad, neglected senior citizens get together to take part in some forced laughter. Inside one of the hollering uncle's open mouth, a bumble bee decides to make a forced entry. End of laughter. Hilarious! The concept: "Life can surprise you." Ergo, tragedies can happen to you when you least expect them. Therefore Aegon Religare.
Yes. Good creatives. A surprising solution for a theme called 'life can surprise you'. The situations depicted are correct, and more importantly, the treatment is just right.
Humour in this category can backfire very easily (we Indians, in general, lack the ability to laugh at ourselves), and the brand runs the risk of the target audience dismissing the communication as being silly and superfluous. But credit must go to the ad agency creative personnel… the line between humour and offence has been walked pretty carefully and successfully. The dark humour used should help Aegon Religare break some insurance ad clutter and get noticed.
And of course, the bigger good news is that the ad envelope in this otherwise serious category has been pushed. The goalpost has been shifted. Hopefully in the future, we will get to watch more interesting insurance ads. Yes, it's time to get out of the deathly serious, weepy mode.
Mis-selling of insurance is rampant, admit insurance heads
If you are a policyholder of a life or non-life insurance product, chances are that your policy needs have not correctly been met. The agent, who so sweetly and subtly coerced you into opting for that policy, has, most probably, unknowingly or otherwise, sold you the wrong product. Mis-selling of policies has been going on for a while; of late, it has assumed greater proportions. At the recently held CII Insurance Summit, industry leaders admitted to the issue of mis-selling of insurance policies and gave insights into how and why this has been carrying on for years.
Said TR Ramchandran, CEO and MD of Aviva Life Insurance Company, “The rising instance of mis-selling across insurance categories is worrying. This is primarily because of financial illiteracy of the advising agents.” Nitish Asthana, senior VP, direct distribution and telcassurance, Bharti AXA Life Insurance, concurs, “Financial illiteracy in the distribution channel itself is the main cause of mis-selling. It leads to under-insurance and improper coverage for the insured. The problem lies in a lack of training on the part of the employer for need-based policy selling.” He further added that inactivity of agents is another cause for concern. He said, “There are three million agents in the market currently. But only 20% of these are productive.”
Is there a way to curb this menace? According to Sanjiv Bajaj, joint MD, Bajaj Capital, the proposed 2.25% cap on insurer’s premium charges will help arrest mis-selling. He said, “We can’t control mis-selling by doing micro-management. We have to do macro things, like having a 2.25% cap on premium charges, which will make a lot of difference.” He attributed mis-selling to a lack of long-term relationship orientation with the customer. “Mis-selling is happening more at the employee level and not the agency level, as is the perception. This can only happen when there is one thing missing in the relationship, and that is relationship. If there is emphasis on having a relationship, then mis-selling cannot happen as the advising agent wants to thrive on the life-time value of the relationship.”
While opinions on the extent of mis-selling may differ, as also what needs to be done to control it, for you, as an individual, there is little option but to be vigilant, to ask around, read the experiences of different people and safeguard your interests.