By Malay Desai
From: Taproot India
The finance house’s latest film tells the life story of a single father and his autistic son. It begins from his diagnosis to the child’s ‘different’ behaviours and goes to show the tough moments of parenting, where the dad is shown displaying much patience with a smile. He gets the child enrolled in a special course, overlooking the extra expense but soon after that gets laid off from his job in a cycle factory. Toward the end, as the child, now a teen,complains of his dad returning home late, the latter replies he’ll never be so, and shows him the nameplate of his new cycle business, named after his son.
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January seems to be appraisal time for the folks at Birla Sun Life, for it’s the second year in a row that the house has launched a new campaign acing in many departments. After ‘Mutual Fund man’ last year, the budgets and stakes are higher this time, with insurance the ware being sold.
The story is of a single father dealing with the ups and downs of his middle-class life and eventually rising thanks to an insurance plan. The concept is from the Jeevan Beema Nigam’s widow days, but it is wearing trendy clothes and telling us of changing times in advertising.
For starters, it’s a male lead, making it tougher to pour our sympathies right away, and accepting the challenge is actor Vineet Kumar Singh, who’s himself come off a decade-long struggle in Bolly-land, finally delivering fabulous acts in Bombay Talkies and Ugly. The children playing the autistic characters do well too, and after last week’s bald cancer survivor, it’s heartening to see brands mirroring our social attitudes towards the disadvantaged among us.
Abhinay Deo, aided much by the production house named after his father, scores with pointed direction and sharp editing again. We saw his badass-ery in his debut film (Delhi Belly) and last year’s Mumbai Mirror TVC, but it’s delightful to see his craft touching a strikingly different chord here.
If insurance remains to be a mind-block with a large portion of its TA because of ‘fundamental disbelief’ reasons, this film has done its bit to take the ambiguous evil out of it. If Bharti AXA and Max New York, albeit worthy competitors in advertising depicted themselves to be ‘good people’, this perspective puts the focus back on the consumer, making him feel vulnerable before saying ‘we’ll have your back*.’ (*conditions apply).
Insurance is a product that constantly needs to be put in a new light, and these new lights especially with the March year-end coming up will remind many to get a plan or two for one’s self and family.
(To watch this film, feed this link into your browser:‘bit.ly/Jan19ad’)
Your regular dose on the shifts in the social media universe
..Meanwhile, HDFC Life gets funny on social
While on the topic of insurance brands getting active pre-March, here’s a first. While Birla was getting all serious about portrayal of autism, its public sector rival HDFC went on a different tangent (for a different medium though) and got together four funny Twitter men for a cheeky take on investments. The activity, a sequel after the success of a similar one in September last year, involved asking followers to tweet in questions about moneys, which were answered with humour and insults in adequate measure through quick YouTube video uploads. The #StandUponTwitter trend went up the list, got a lot of engagement and visibility for HDFC, but whether any of the thousands of idling Twitter contest-eratis were convinced enough to buy a plan or suggest one to a friend, we are not that sure.
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What to expect from the Awards Season?
Last year during the Oscars, Ellen Degeneres virtually broke Twitter thanks to her legendary selfie, which remains the most RT-ed tweet ever. Now at the turn of the year, the awards season beckons and from the viralities of the People’s Choice Awards and the Golden Globes, the numbers are already set to be bigger. The thing is, nobody exactly knows which reaction, which ‘oops’ moment, which speech line or awkward picture will really turn out to be an internet-breaker (Chrissy Teigen is already famous for her split-second reaction caught on camera.) Back home, the Stardust, Guild awards have already happened to ‘the usual’ reactions on social while @starmoviesIndia is currently warming up to ‘the business end’ of its year with Oscar nominations and the eventual show in a few weeks. Watch it all with your second screen in hand, I say.
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And Kotak the most social-savvy bank in India
And to wind up this page with the mention of a third financial house, it gives me pleasure to inform you that you can send money and other banking activities through a tweet or a Facebook post. Now before you go ‘but why?’, knowing the details of Kotak Mahindra Bank’s ‘Jifi’would be worthy for posterity. One – you can open an account online using your social handles, receive a debit card and a subscription to a ‘platinum plan’ for a year to track your expenses. There are other frills such as paying your mobile and DTH bills through your social channels. Already 28,383people have signed up for this, the company’s portal claims (signing up is indeed quite quick as I found out) although I worry how many of those would sustain and actively make transactions, overlooking their apps. Either ways, let me call the dawn of #hashtagbanking and Kotak to be its pioneer in India.
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