It is that time of the year, when calculators come out of the drawers, excel becomes the hottest thing ever and tax consultants make obscene
amount of money. Yes, you have guessed it right, this is March. A month
which has IPL 3, but for once that is not the most important reason
behind the importance of this month...To remind you, this is also the
month that most of us pay our taxes in!!!!
In this context,
getting hold of proper tax saving instruments become very
important...Investments are made and declared and we 'donate' our hard
earned money with a lot of grudge against the government...Insurance,
is a widely used instrument in this period.
Over the last couple
of weeks, when I myself have been losing sleep over how to save taxes,
have often hit upon the idea of buying insurance policies. It is here
that I started thinking about all the ads of various products from
Insurance, is a negative reinforcement
product. This means that Insurance is bought to avoid the aftermaths of
an unwanted situation, like death, accident, and in most cases taxes.
The underlying emotion or sentiment belying an insurance buying
decision is fear. We fear that we might not be able to support
ourselves financially if the earning member/s of the family are no more
there, and hence we buy an insurance policy!!!
Now if we have
noticed carefully, none of the insurance ads, with a few aberrations,
even remotely speak of this. Insurance ads are mostly feel good ads
where a daughter is shown gifting her father a bigger and better car. A
grandfather who wants to extend a helping hand to his grandson who is
about to trip, is stopped by the father, et al.
There is a reason to it.
shows that we, as consumers do not prefer to see negative messages on
television. We do not empathise with them. What happens is that we form
a very clear demarcation of 'them' and 'we'. If an ad shows a death, we
analyze that it happenned or can happen to 'them' (the characters
potrayed in the ad) and not us. Also, the average Indian consumer, is
pretty egoistic when it comes to his/her family. In the case of
insurance, the decision maker is mostly, the earning member of the
family, that is largely, the male. If we look carefully, there is a
good amount of ego massage that is done by these ads. How? Recollect
the HDFC Standard Life "Sar Utha Ke Jiyo: ads.
One aberration in
recent times, has been, again, HDFC Standard Life. The ad shows two
friends. One is going on a tour, and the other friend is seeing him off
tha the airport. They discuss what will happen to the family if the
friend does not return from the tour at all. To me, this ad is a very
blatant and in your face kind of an ad, that drives home the point
without mincing or sugarcoating words. I am eagerly looking forward to
the kind of reaction that the ad stirrs!!!
Till that time, I
shall continue contemplating on which insurance to buy, how much
investments to declare, etc. Ads or no ads..Life, you see, has to