Over the last year, I have read ample articles, white papers and studies chronicling the difficulty in selling individual life in the U.S. marketplace. Last year’s dismal numbers from LIMRA surely confirm that, but more recent numbers suggest that at last, life sales are back on the rise. That’s all well and good, but the fact remains that according to the Insurance Information Institute, life sales in general still were outperformed in 2010 by health and disability insurance, and by annuities (by a large margin).
This is nothing new to folks who market and sell life. And while I have seen a number of innovative efforts to spur life sales–such as re-branding it as a kind of safe investment or pairing it with annuities to hedge against the notion of longevity risk–I have to wonder if maybe individual life isn’t selling better because the industry simply isn’t trying hard enough to make its case.
Don’t get me wrong–the life industry is hardly a confederation of slackers. And it has been interesting to see the proliferation of television ad campaigns from major life and annuity companies these days. But how effective are these campaigns, really? And what are these advertisers expectations?
I bring all of this up because I recently came across a series of absolutely shattering advertisements for a Thai life insurance company. Just go on YouTube and search for “Thai life insurance,” and you’ll come up with a few of them. Give them a watch, and if you don’t have something stuck in your eye by the end of these mini-dramas, then you are a more resilient person than I am. Or you are a robot.