HDFC Life's ad spend to stay flat

MUMBAI: HDFC Life‘s advertising spend will stay flat this year as the insurance company seeks to turn profitable.

"This is the first year we are trying to become profitable and we are maintaining a similar ad spend as last year. New mediums have come like digital and OOH. We are looking to spend more judiciously and utilise a 360 degree approach to reallocate money," HDFC Life executive VP marketing and direct channels Sanjay Tripathy told
HDFC Life ranks No. 4 among the top 10 advertisers in the category, according to ad volumes based on TAM Adex data for the year ended 31 December 2010. It has a 7 per cent share while LIC stays on the top with a 23 per cent share.

Tripathy said spends in the insurance category dropped by around 20 per cent during the economic downturn. TAM Adex data shows TV advertising of ‘Life Insurance‘ dropped by 5 per cent (ad volumes) in 2010 compared to the earlier year. 
"There are two kinds of companies. New companies are spending heavily. Some of the older players who want to go for a public listing and want to make marketing money work harder are keeping a check on their spending," Tripathy said.

While 70 per cent of HDFC‘s marketing spend goes towards above the line, 50 per cent of this goes towards television.

"We are present in over 700 cities. Television offers a more cost effective reach and provides an emotional touch point. You can link the customer with your brand and emotional thought; you can explain your concept in a situation linked to his daily life. Print, radio and OOH play a support role. We have started using social media more to engage the youth," explained Tripathy.

On television, HDFC uses news and sports for advertising as it fits into the 25-45 male target audience. "Apart from cricket, we do on-air sponsorship of Euro, Fifa World Cup and Wimbledon. We also spend on regional news and regional entertainment," said Tripathy.

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