Bharti AXA GI takes to streets to spread health insurance awareness

To most people today, health insurance translates to merely covering hospitalization/medical treatment costs.

January 09, 2014 10:51 IST | India Infoline News Service
Health Insurance penetration at sub 15% in the country points to the acute lack of awareness about the importance of health insurance in India. In a pioneering effort to increase awareness and instil the importance of health insurance, specifically around Critical Illness, Bharti AXA General Insurance (GI), one of the fastest growing multi-line general insurance companies in India, has launched a unique and innovative viral communication campaign on the internet around the theme of Lifestyle Protection (LSP) – which underlines the need for a Critical Illness insurance cover.

To most people today, health insurance translates to merely covering hospitalization/medical treatment costs. While this is fine for an illness that can be cured in the short term, what happens when an individual is rendered incapableof living a normal life due to incidence of critical illness for an extended period of time? Besides the hospitalization/medical treatment expenses that he/she would have to meet, other financial commitments like EMIs, children’s school fees, credit card expenses etc also suffer as the individual is unable to go to work and earn
a regular income.This is where newer products like a Critical Illness health insurance policy help as they provide lump sum compensation that can help in meeting day-to-day expenses and covering hospitalization costs.

A first-of-its-kind campaign in the insurance industry, Bharti AXA GI’s digital campaign successfully capitalises the most potent communication medium today – the digital platform, in communicating the need-of-the-hour for insurance – to create an awareness of the importance of a critical illness health insurance policy.  Seven videos have been developed that narrate the predicaments of ordinary people who suffer from critical illnesses and are forced to work while they are ill, owing to the financial commitments.
The videos take a slice-of-life look at people from different walks of life – women, entrepreneurs, working professionals, with the aim of drivinghome the point that a critical illness could hit any one of us. The videos end with creating awareness about Bharti AXA GI’s Critical Illness policy that provides them with lump sum compensation that can take care of the financial commitments while the customers peacefully recover from their illness.The digital platform was chosen for this campaign for its ability to maximise reach to the target audience - young working individuals who use the internet on a daily basis, and to promote Bharti AXA GI’s new e-commerce enabled website.

Commenting on the campaign,
Dr .Amarnath Ananthanarayanan, MD and CEO, Bharti AXA General Insurance said, Innovation is one of the core values on which our company is built and we are constantly looking at new perspectives, methods and approaches when it comes to any aspect of business, service, product development, delivery etc.This campaign is another step in that direction. The videos are designed such that the common man can easily relate to them and hence they have the potential to instil the need for health insurance among them. Even the minority that does have some form of health insurance is not completely aware of the options available; and ends up buying a policy that may or may not suit them. With this viral communication campaign, we aim to increase awareness about health insurance and help the aamadmichoose the right health insurance policy.”

The fact that the incidence of a critical illness can happen to anyone is clearly denoted in the choice of the characters in the videos. The videos depict people from different parts of the country as well people from different professions. They are a mix of candid videos and scripted videos. The candid videos depict people from different regions, where a real life scene has been shot. The onlookers are not aware of the shooting and only see a patient, a fellow commuter, trying to make it to work while being critically ill. The scripted videos, which depict people from different professions, are based on drafted scripts and hired actors. One of the candid videos shows a critically ill south Indian trying to catch a bus to get to work in Mumbai, and how other people at the bus stop try to advise and help him. Another video shows a critically ill Bengali man entering a café and telling his boss, on a telephonic conversation, that he will be in office although he is ill. The scripted videos show an entrepreneur, an airhostess and other professionals. The videos will be promoted on all social media channels including
Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn. They will also be featuring on relevant websites and portals which are targeted at the target audience. Allied activities like contests for employees to share the videos and communication to customers and partners are also underway.

Taking the viral communication campaign a step further, the company has also launched a working patient journal aptly titled ‘Patient Times’ that carries updates on patients, who are seen working or are spotted at unusual places. It also has content for patients, including dos and don’ts and other useful and informative content.

Patient Times can be viewed at

The company also launched a television commercial centred around the working patient last month.

With internet penetration steadily increasing in our country,people are increasingly using the online platform for information and awareness. Organisational communication today is incomplete without a strong play on the digital platform. Customers are fast moving towards this medium and this will soon be the avenue to address the maximum captive audience. For creating awareness, the digital medium is where the market is moving. Hence, from sales as well as PR and brand building perspectives, the importance of the digital platform is increasingly becoming essential – and this is slated to become as crucial a component of a company’s marketing objectives as television or print.

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