Getting health insurance right

RAMESH NARAYAN | Updated on March 08, 2018

ct16_icici lombard



Addendum is a fortnightly column that takes a sometimes hard, sometimes casual, sometimes irreverent yet never malicious look at some of the new or recent advertisements and comments on them.

Health insurance is a difficult subject to advertise well. Most insurance is. You’d rather not think of whatever is being advertised. Frightening a customer is no longer acceptable. Preaching to her is boring. Stating the bare facts is like pouring money down a vast black hole. So ICICI Lombard and Ogilvy take a different route and come out with this interesting TVC. There’s this slightly portly gent (or is it just the winter padding?) who is jogging through the completely snow-bound streets of what looks like a cantonment in North India or some freezing communist country in East Europe. And as he plows this lonely furrow through the unyielding snow, a voice-over echoes the voice in his head. A completely masochistic voice that spells out all the lovely, warm, tasty alternatives to just jogging in this freezing place. The warm fireplace he would rather be sitting before, the hot parathas he would rather be eating and so on.

Finally the voice tells him that one perfect alternative would be to actually beat the nagging voice in his head and keep the promise he made to his daughter to get fit. And he puts his head down and resolutely runs on through the cold. And this steely resolve to keep one’s promise ties in rather well with ICICI Lombard’s tag line to always keep its promises. There are some supers in the film that talk about features such as yoga and gym reimbursements, nutrition consultation, sports and fitness therapy as a part of ICICI Lombard's health insurance offerings. A very good idea, specially since the benefits of insurance seem like some shimmering mirage otherwise.


The Audi A4 is being launched with great sound and fury. The TV and print campaign set the tone and pace for something that is really hi-tech, exciting and far beyond what one would imagine. The imagery is straight out of a sci-fi film. You see something that looks like a VR cockpit, a space shuttle zooming off, extreme speed and power is denoted. You almost forget this is an ad for a car. And not even a top end car. That’s the idea, though, and it’s very gripping. And very aspirational. Progress is intense, says the tag line. You bet it is! So if you ever needed to be nudged to buy an Audi, here it is. Not a nudge, a big shove. If I was in the market for such a car, I’d look no further.

From heart to home

Dewan Housing Finance Ltd (DHFL) and SapietNitro have a new TVC for you that’s straight from their heart to your home. Shah Rukh Khan (SRK) is the brand ambassador, so eyeballs are ensured. Having got everyone’s attention, SRK sits on a comfortable sofa and explains the different reasons why and when people seek a new home. Maybe when they get married and live independently, or when a child arrives, or when children grow up. But finally he sums it up by saying that you normally think of a new house when your heart longs for one. And that’s when DHFL offers you one, straight from the heart ( dil se). So DHFL is this big loving entity whose heart beats for your home, right? I’m not very happy with that positioning statement but that’s what it sounds like. Home loans are a big business like any other big business. So there’s always more head than heart.

I worked on home loans for the leader for some fifteen years, so I should know. But then, if they want to give you a home loan from their heart instead of their head, I’m not complaining and neither should you. SRK isn’t complaining, for sure! He’s been paid already.

Ramesh Narayan is a communications consultant. Mail your comments to

Published on September 15, 2016

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor


This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor