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Living it ‘freely’: Tendulkar set to bat for Aviva Life Insurance

Living it ‘freely’: Tendulkar set to bat for Aviva Life Insurance
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First Published: Thu, Jul 19 2007. 01 08 AM IST

Updated: Thu, Jul 19 2007. 01 08 AM IST
Mumbai: It’s a windy day at the beach and cricket maestro Sachin Tendulkar is playing a spirited game with some boys. He’s open to enjoying life more, because he’s protected by life insurance.
That is the gist of a new television spot from Aviva Life Insurance Co., which starts airing on Thursday. The tag line for the campaign: “Life is like cricket. Live it khulke” (freely).
“If you are restrained on the pitch, you can’t pull a shot. That’s the central idea,” says Nima D.T. Namchu, senior creative director, Publicis India Communications Pvt. Ltd, the firm that created the commercial for Aviva.
Sachin Tendulkar ad for Aviva Life Insurance
Vivek Khanna, Aviva’s director, marketing, says: “For us, the first step was building brand awareness which we successfully achieved. From a zero base, we reached 79% awareness as surveys show. The next step was making an impact. Sachin Tendulkar is a cricket brand that’s been around for 17 years and cuts across age groups and economic segments. He reflects commitment and performance, values that work for Aviva.”
Tendulkar, who has been scoring runs again in recent months after a slump, already endorses myriad brands across categories for companies such as ITC Foods Inc., Pepsi India Ltd, Canon India Ltd and Pantaloon Retail (India) Ltd. His annual ad contracts add up to Rs40-45 crore, estimate some industry experts.
While a very well recognized name, using Tendulkar isn’t without its risks. “I think cricket stars are known to flit around from product to product and Sachin is a promiscuous endorser,” says Harish Bijoor who runs a namesake independent marketing consultancy and is not affiliated with the campaign. “The cricketer’s endorsement of Aviva’s values will serve the limited purpose of creating brand awareness and will not go beyond that. There will be no flaming desire to own the product.”
Meanwhile, the celebrity pitchman route is also not necessarily new, even within financial services. For instance, Rahul Dravid is the face of Max New York Life Insurance India and Bank of Baroda, another cricketer M.S. Dhoni pitches GE Money India and retired cricketer Sunil Gavaskar plugs Deutsche Bank’s cards.
“The growth rate for insurance sector over the past two-three years has been 20-30%,” notes Khanna. “About 60% of new premiums is commanded by Life Insurance Corp. of India and 40% by private players. We have a market share of 4.5%. Aviva Life Insurance has recorded a triple-digit growth rate year on year. Our objective is to grow ahead of the market.” Aviva did not disclose its budget for the campaign.
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First Published: Thu, Jul 19 2007. 01 08 AM IST