Simplify: Iyer of Lowe Lintas.Reviewer: Arun Iyer

The group creative director for Lowe Lintas also oversees the creative duties for LinFinancial, a division of the agency which handles creative duties for financial brands such as Axis Bank.

Campaign The new ad for SBI Life Insurance has a romantic take on a young couple’s dreams for their old age.

What did you think of the ad?

In my opinion, the SBI Life Insurance ad belongs to the “feel good" category of financial advertising. Simple and entertaining, it leaves one feeling warm towards the brand. The ad has been beautifully shot and the casting and performances are bang on. The play between the husband and wife is quite enviable and I’m sure a number of couples would want their relationship to be like that. The confidence the man shows in his future reflects on to the brand. It is in keeping with the spirit of their old campaign, featuring a group of old men playing cricket, to look at the brighter side of life. All in all, an enjoyable watch.

Feel-good:The acting is spot on; the ad simple and entertaining.

should agencies keep in mind when working on ads for this sector?

I do not think there is anything radically different that agencies need to keep in mind while advertising for the financial sector. Just that you are dealing with people’s money and their future, so a bit of sensitivity would help. The relationship between people and their money is very complex and personal. It says a lot about who they are, where they come from, and what their ambitions are. So unlike a low involvement category such as engine oil, here emotions run high and it’s very easy to rub a customer the wrong way. Also, the sector is filled with jargon that the common man just does not understand. So, simplification is another thing to keep in mind.

What’s your favourite insurance ad?

One of my favourite insurance campaigns is “Real life, real answers" for John Hancock. An amazingly insightful campaign that shattered every category code. It highlights some of the deepest insecurities that people have about their future. Simply put, the ads are about people having the most uncomfortable conversations about the future over SMS. Among recent Indian campaigns, the Birla Sun Life insurance campaign for wealth solutions, featuring Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag, talking to the camera about their insecurities, was quite nice. They’ve used their celebrities very well and it’s something that everyone can identify with, it really touches a chord. Also, ICICI Prudential’s stance of Jeetey Raho, which is basically you will live longer if you are not stressed about the future, does differentiate it from the other life insurance players.

As told to Gouri Shah