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AIA's CMO on how to redefine health and inspire a healthier Asia

AIA's CMO on how to redefine health and inspire a healthier Asia

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AIA Group has unveiled its new brand campaign platform “Rethink Healthy”, challenging stereotypes and narrow depictions of health in Asia and calling for new definitions of health that will encourage more people to live healthier.  

As part of AIA’s One Billion ambition to engage people to live healthier and better lives by 2030, “Rethink healthy” aims to promote a more holistic and sustainable approach to wellbeing that is inclusive, relevant and achievable for people in Asia. 

During an interview with MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, Stuart A. Spencer, group chief marketing officer, AIA, said as one of the largest life and health insurers across Asia, AIA is trying to liberate consumers with the campaign, shifting from a one-dimensional view of what healthy looks like and redefining healthy on people's individual terms.  

“We are trying to unhinge people from the belief that they cannot become healthy, by making them realise that actually, that's only one view of being healthy[...] And what we want to inspire people to do is to embark on their own personal journey to live healthier, longer and better lives, on their own terms, not on social media’s terms,” said Spencer. 

The campaign was formed in response to a regional wellness report commissioned by AIA which found many consumers in Asia believe that being healthy is too hard and inaccessible. Key findings of the research revealed while the majority of respondents want to improve their health, 80% do not believe that they are healthy today.  

As a result, 57% of those surveyed reported they have not managed to make changes to improve their health.  

The research is very clear, consumers need and want help. AIA’s ‘Rethink Healthy’ campaign is a direct response to this urgent need by reframing the journey to health and wellness to be more inclusive.

How social media portrays health and beauty

Apart from consumer perception towards health and beauty, social media also plays a huge role in depicting what a healthy individual looks like. According to a YouGov study, close to two-fifths (38%) of Hong Kong consumers consider health influencers a reliable source of information on health and wellness, compared to just a sixth (16%) of consumers internationally.    

Meanwhile, a fifth in Singapore (21%) say they find at least some health and wellness information offered by social media influencers to be trustworthy.

On the flipside, only 59% of Hong Kong consumers say they think medical practitioners are a reliable source of health information, noticeably lower than the 65% average internationally, said the report. 

With that trust shift towards social media and many imageries on the platforms being seen as “perfect”, Spencer believes this will deter people from embarking on their own journeys of health and wellness.  

We want to be empowering, and we want to be unapologetic.

"And for this we want to provoke dialogue, we want to start a conversation to really illustrate what's at stake here that the power of stereotypes is so strong, that billions of people across Asia are unwilling or feel demotivated to even embark on a journey of health and wellness,” he added. 

The campaign features an anthemic video which has been launched on AIA’s social platforms such as YouTube, questioning the role social media plays in consumers’ depiction of health and will be supported by community events, employee engagement and marketing campaigns across several markets in Asia.  

Spencer added, "AIA is taking a stand and saying we want to redefine what health looks like. We want to make it personalised, individualised. We want to be inclusive. We want to give everyone across Asia, the encouragement and the support and the belief that they can be absolutely healthy by doing what they're doing by doing more of what they're doing.”

And by feeling like they can, they can have the courage and the bravery and the wherewithal and the resilience to embark on their own personal journeys of health and wellness.

And if you see the anthemic film we've done will illustrate that there is beauty. There is wonder, there is love, there is opportunity, and there's hope, in our individual pathways to health and wellness, which cannot judge each other,” he said. 

Key themes will include broadening perspectives to see health as a balance between physical, mental, financial and environmental wellbeing, as opposed to a sole focus on physical appearance as a marker of health.  

Other highlights include expanding the definition of activities, options and choices that can all contribute to holistic health and wellbeing; redefining how movement and better eating can positively impact health.  

To amplify the campaign reach, Rina Hiranand, associate director of group brand at AIA, said the campaign will be launched in each market of AIA in a locally relevant way in the next six months.

For example, in China, AIA premiered the film at a brand carnival event in Wuhan on Sunday, and will partner with ambassadors to talk about “rethink healthy” from a mental health perspective.  

While in Malaysia, AIA will be using real Malaysians in their depiction of the campaign, and Thailand will focus on delivering a rallying cry to get all AIA employees to reimagine what healthy can look like for themselves, then on consumers.

Moving on, Spencer said he wishes to encourage and inspire others through partnerships and dialogue and working together to be responsible for a better tomorrow. 

“Who doesn't want to live a healthy, longer, better life? No matter what category you're in, you want the customers that you're selling to live longer and healthier. So it's something that I would be happy to champion in my capacity.” 

Join us this coming 26 June for Content360 Hong Kong, a one-day-two-streams extravaganza under the theme of "Content that captivates". Get together with our fellow marketers to learn about AI in content creation, integration of content with commerce and cross-border targeting, and find the recipe for success within the content marketing world!

Related articles:

Singtel and AIA partner up, exchange well-being for data
AIA Group appoints Golin Hong Kong to handle social platforms

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