Prudential takes a musical route with Vayner SG, agency eyes expansion in 2nd year

Prudential has launched a new campaign through a catchy new song titled “Protection that’s built to grow”, which aims to highlight the importance of critical illness protection. The campaign is targeted at individuals aged between 25 and 55 years old, and looks to provide a relatable narrative that educates consumers on the ability to customise and build their critical illness protection as they age - while also protecting their dependents. It will run for three months. Done in collaboration with VaynerMedia APAC, the campaign is centered around an animated music video. The music video highlights the realities of critical illnesses as it follows the main character’s life, where he picks and chooses the different “Lego” blocks based on his needs to build his own wall of protection against critical illness while protecting his family. The video is inspired by the critical illness recovery stories of Prudential customers.

The campaign will leverage multiple video assets across three phases: launch, engagement and sustenance. It will also run on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. While the music video is the hero asset of the campaign, real-life stories of Prudential's consumers who recovered from critical illnesses will be featured for the engagement and sustenance phases. These stories will be brought to life with a visual world and musical instrumentation that match each of them, according to VaynerMedia APAC.

In a statement to Marketing, a spokesperson from VaynerMedia APAC said it wanted to steer clear from fear-mongering, and instead choose a more positive route to express how Prudential understands that everyone’s needs are different, and will change based on the different life stages. 

Aside from the music video, the entire campaign has also been segmented further, into bite-sized jingles."We used the main film and customised it into multiple entertaining content pieces to highlight specific scenarios each audience segment can relate to. From the main music video, we expanded in concert into a making-of video, jingle ads, critical illness recovery stories social assets, on-ground posters, as well as trade materials," JY Lay, creative director of VaynerMedia APAC.

VJ Anand, executive creative director for VaynerMedia APAC said the agency used Lego in the music video as it felt that it would help "strongly illustrate" the overall creative theme of building protection against critical illnesses. According to the agency, it chose to use music as the medium to play up the message because it is something that appeals to audiences across the board, while keeping the tone of the conversation light, as the subject matter itself is a rather serious issue to deal with. The choice of music was also inspired by indie folk music and its ability to tap into a fun, easy-going feeling that counters the typical approach of most insurers.

The music video also employs animation in its visuals. VaynerMedia's spokesperson said the agency chose to use animation because it wanted to create a world that is warm, light-hearted, and carefree. "As critical illness is often deemed as a heavy subject, especially in today’s climate, we wanted to turn the visual world and creative execution into an escape," the spokesperson added. The music video took four months in the making, with the idea conceived in May 2020.

Goh Theng Kiat, chief customer officer, Prudential Singapore, said: “Young adults do not typically think of buying protection insurance as the thought of being hit by critical illness seems too distant. But being young does not mean you will be free from chronic disease. In fact, being young means you can start getting protected early, and continue to build on your protection as you go through the different life stages. This is the message we want to send across through the 'Protection Built To Grow' campaign."

Avery Akkineni, head of VaynerMedia APAC, added that creating a music video with the song gave the agency further opportunity to broaden the campaign across various social media in a myriad of ways. “Music is a medium that connects with people across all ages, life stages and experiences. This is why we chose to communicate the importance of critical illness protection through this format," she said.

VaynerMedia APAC has been working with Prudential for many of its campaigns, including its #MindTheGenGap campaign during Chinese New Year, as well as a social ad with Michelle Chong filmed during the circuit breaker which promoted Prudential's Pulse app. According to the agency, this year has "been a good" one for the agency, as it bagged a slew of new clients, including SK-II, YouTube, Maybank, OPPO, Glico, GIC, Tipco, and Subway. Despite finding it a challenge operating during the COVID-19 era, the agency claims that the digital efforts tit has adapted during the period are working well and has enabled it to scale into new countries more quickly than it previously planned. 

Moving forward as the agency grounds itself well into its second year, VaynerMedia APAC says it has plans to expand into new local markets. It currently has team members based in Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, and Vietnam, and is planning to expand in each of these key markets, while considering a few other countries as well, based on client demand. The agency said it is looking to roll out "some really interesting integrated campaigns" in the coming months, and added that it is keen to work with forward-thinking regional and global partners across verticals. "Our 'dream clients' are those willing to partner with us across creative, media, strategy, and production," a spokesperson said.

But of course, hiring has been a challenge. "As a new agency in Singapore, one of our challenges is the often-lengthy notice periods for top talent. In other markets, two week notice periods are normal, but here in Singapore, we often have to 'hire ahead' a bit, due to multi-month notice periods," the spokesperson said. Last month, Akkineni told Marketing that the agency is looking to hire for several positions, including social listening analyst, video editor, senior copywriter, account manager, social strategist, and 3D motion designer. VaynerMedia APAC is currently about 80 strong, and its largest partners are in the FMCG, financial service, and tech sectors.

Related Articles:
Prudential SG head of marketing Siva Jayaraj takes on new role in Thailand
Prudential MY critical illness campaign plays up unity and lack of discrimination
No commercial intent, just #DOgood: Prudential ad tackles fake news and stigmas