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HDFC Life spins a touching tale of a father and his daughter

Conceptualised by Leo Burnett, HDFC Life’s latest campaign has the right balance of emotion without losing the financial connect

Sarmistha Neogy | Mumbai | February 4, 2015

Click on the image to watch the TVC. Click on the image to watch the TVC.

Close on the heels of Tata AIA’s Daddy and Zooey comes another touching tale, this time about father-daughter bonding. Taking forward its philosophy of ‘Sar Utha Ke Jiyo’, HDFC Life has launched a new brand campaign – ‘Apno Ko Apne Dam Pe Jeena Sikhao’ – after a gap of five years.

The ad highlights the role of a man in his family, who is not just the financial provider but also the emotional binder. Leo Burnett has conceptualised the campaign and has worked on the insight that what makes the man irreplaceable is not the money that he earns, but those little everyday lessons which he imparts to his family, which eventually helps them to stand on their own feet.

The film narrates the story of a father who helps his young daughter realise her dream of becoming a dancer. The little girl wears an artificial limb on one leg, but has her father to back her in every small thing that she does. He instils in her the confidence to dance and gently coaxes her to put on her ‘ghungru’ herself. On the day of her dance programme, he deliberately stays away from her, but watches her from the backstage. The little girl after waiting for her father to show up goes ahead and puts on the ghungru herself and dances. As the performance ends, she sees her father backstage, who proudly looks on as his daughter finally turns independent.

RajDeepak Das RajDeepak Das

Speaking on the creative insight, RajDeepak Das, Chief Creative Officer, Leo Burnett, said, “‘Sar Utha ke Jiyo’ is a true life lesson every parent teaches their children in their own way. A simple, human and purposeful story of a father’s way of teaching his daughter to live with pride is shown in our story. The brief given was to create something different and relevant at the same time, in tune with the philosophy of ‘Sar Utha Ke Jiyo’, and at the same time, not lose the financial connect in the campaign.”

Das further elaborated, “While making any campaign, I always keep four things in mind – Hope, Faith, Love and Charity – which to my belief make any story stand out. Even in this case, there is ‘hope’, when the girl wants to dance in spite of her disability; ‘faith’, which her dad shows in her; ‘love’ is shown in the form of highlighting the beautiful father-daughter relationship; and ‘Charity’, which comes in the form of endless love that the father has for his daughter. We have kept a few things for the viewers to interpret, like some might think that her mother is no more, while it can also be that she has gone somewhere. We actually didn’t want to dilute the father-daughter special bond by bringing in a third character.”

The ad film has been directed by filmmaker Vikramaditya Motwane of ‘Udaan’ fame, while Hanif Shaikh has composed the music.

Apart from television, this film will be supported by other media such as print, radio, OOH, DTH, and cinema, with significant focus on digital and social media.

Sanjay Tripathy Sanjay Tripathy

Expressing his thoughts on the concept of the film, Sanjay Tripathy, Senior EVP – Marketing, Products, Digital & Ecommerce, HDFC Life, said, “Our entire attempt was to make a film where emotions would look real and not over the top. We always kept on doing researches and found that the ‘Sar Utha Ke Jiyo’ campaign has historically encouraged people to lead their life with dignity. But now, there is a time to redefine this dignity in context of what it means to people of today, which it does through a touching narrative to highlight the father-daughter bond.”

He further said, “One of the biggest challenges in this category is that people usually postpone buying insurance as it gets taken over by an immediate purchase plan around the corner. We Indians like to believe that we are here to live forever or nothing will happen to us, until and unless met by an emergency. Also, this space is quite cluttered with 21 players operating in the same genre without any differentiation. The way we decided to stand apart is by using emotion in the right place.”

Thumbs up for breaking from the past

Apeksha Shetty Apeksha Shetty

Apeksha Shetty, Account Manager, Gozoop, commented, “I think it’s a great video. The choice of music is apt and the child actor has done a wonderful job. There have been many videos touching upon a similar concept, but it is the attention to detail that makes it more endearing. The days when insurance advertising was limited to instilling fear are long gone. The realisation that fear very rarely translates into being a motivator is settling in, which is apparent in the positive spin most insurance ads these days have. This ad in particular nicely hits the right spots by being positive, relatable yet atypical. Good job!”

Ranjan Nautiyal Ranjan Nautiyal

Ranjan Nautiyal, Creative Director, BC Web Wise, noted, “Life insurance has always been a touchy topic for advertisers. There are constant debates about where to draw the line – too soft and the need isn’t communicated strongly enough; too harsh and you risk alienating the audience. This campaign balances it really well, telling adults to teach their dependants the importance of doing things on their own. And the best time to do is when they are around. A perfect fit for the category and product. If there is anything they could have changed, it is the pace and the length of the video. But if one sits through till the end, the message comes out clearly and strongly.”

Subhadeep Dawn Subhadeep Dawn

Subhadeep Dawn, Senior Art Director, Bates CHI & Partners, liked the ad, but felt it was a little too emotional. According to him, the story was more focussed on the girl’s impairment and he was not sure, from the business perspective, how many would actually turn out to buy insurance. So, even though it is a great ad to watch because of good editing, great sound and other technicalities, a little more light on the financial plans would have been useful to a person who wants to buy insurance.

The TVC:



Client: HDFC Life

Senior EVP – Marketing: Sanjay Tripathy,

VP - Marketing: Prathyusha Agarwal

AVP - Marketing: Pritika Shah

Manager, Marketing: Adhish Zaveri

Agency: Leo Burnett, Mumbai

CCO: Rajdeepak Das

ECD: Vikram Pandey (Spiky)

Creative: Brahmesh Tiwari, Geo Joseph, Amit Thakur, Vinayak Ghadigaonkar, Kiran Talegaonkar

Planning: Ajeeta Bharadwaj, Samhita Choudhuri

Account Management: Oindrila Roy, Prashant Gopalakrishnan, Sharon Thambi

Production House: Red Ice Films Director: Vikramaditya Motwane

Executive Producer: Gary Grewal, Vandana Singh

Producer: Richa Lal

Music: Hanif Shaikh

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