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Web Film: Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance – Maa Kasam


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By Malay Desai


By: Culture Machine

Edelweiss Tokio launched a web film last week featuring a young man Babloo, who has lost his mother. He is shown giving promises to various people around him, starting from the prayer meet itself, swearing on his mother and saying ‘Maa Kasam.’ Every time he uses the phrase to convey a fake promise, something untoward happens out of the blue, such as strangers punching him, throwing water on him and so on. Toward the end, his dead mother’s ghost appears on his wedding night and advises him to stop swearing on her, and he follows that later. The film and online campaign is focused around the tagline – ‘Vaada wahi jo nibha sake.’


The biggest drawback of  Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance, a joint venture between India’s financial services group and an old Japanese insurance player, is its name. Ask the person on the street to name any three non-LIC insurance brands and this name would mostly not feature in them.


So if the kaale coats do not want to rename the service for better recall, the t-shirts at a creative agency would have to think up phrases and hashtags catchy enough to do the job. ‘Maa Kasam’ does so, and through an often-used tool these days, the web film.


The man in question here is someone who borrows money and never returns it, lies on the job and also makes up stories to go under a traffic policeman’s fine. However, he doesn’t look like a thug, or the devil in Max New York Life’s 2012 campaign. He is simply using his dead mother’s pretext to sneak out of situations.


The underlying thought is good, and the ‘keeping the promise’ message comes out clear, though I doubt lay viewers would recall the brand’s earlier campaign and the now-defunct microsite – keepthepromise. If the service indeed delivers on the promise made in this campaign, then that’s really everything a life insurance purchaser wants.


The 3 point something minutes long film has been made by Culture Machine, the force behind the popular ‘Being Indian’ YouTube channel. It would be one of their least whackiest works compared to others but it sticks to the brief. The dead mother appearing at our man’s suhaagraat is funny, but is it funny enough for me to share this with all my friends? Probably not, and the YouTube video views, just over 1,300 in five days of launch, confirm that.


The film is the centerpiece of the #MaaKasam campaign, that has been taken forward on the brand’s Facebook page. There’s also the usual run-of-themill contest promising a Moto E (um, who wants that any more, guys?) so Babloo is creating decent traction.


The last good Indian insurance TVC was Abhinay Deo’s work for Birla Sun Life in 2015. Expect more films from the biggies as the March-end season hots up.


( Watch this web film by entering this in your browser - bit.ly/ViewTubeFeb15 )


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