Carol Huang
May 25, 2020

Hong Kong 'virtual' insurance company launches campaign amid pandemic

A new digital-only insurer is using a heavy proportion of traditional media as it begins reaching out to local consumers.

Hong Kong 'virtual' insurance company launches campaign amid pandemic

Hong Kong’s first 'virtual" (digital-only) insurance company, Bowtie, launched an integrated campaign recently, one year after it first started operation. The campaign features former financial secretary John Tsang, who acts as an adviser to the company.

The 'Self-Protection Era' campaign, by Frengers Communications, includes online, TV and OOH and is presented as a wakeup call to Hong Kong people. The homegrown Hong Kong brand aims to provide affordable and comprehensive health coverage that provides people with more options for the clinics they can use. A wellness membership program, BowtieGo, is also available for retail consumers, and will soon open for small and medium-sized enterprises.

One might expect digital 'pure-play' banks and insurers to focus only on digital channels of advertising. But offline advertising is also essential, according to a Bowtie spokesperson, who said the company is putting 50% of its spending into offline media.

"We witnessed a rapid rise in our website traffic and insurance sales that have almost tripled in the first quarter of the year," Basil Cheung, senior manager of creative and branding, told Campaign Asia-Pacific via email. "Also, we think creativity should not be limited to any budget. Based on the needs, we will leverage both online and offline channels for integrated communication." (See Bowtie's large LED installation on Hong Kong's harbor below.) 

"In terms of our media selection," he continued, "it is based on our customers’ lifestyle and behaviour. In Hong Kong's case, both channels serve an important role, for both acquisition and awareness building."

The Hong Kong government granted the fourth virtual insurance company license early this month to ZA Life, operating under Hong Kong virtual bank ZA. Other virtual insurance companies include Avo Insurance and OneDegree.

Most of these virtual financial institutions are mainly trying to boost their brand awareness via social media. For example, ZA Bank, the first digital bank to begin operation, invites users to register and share invitation codes via WeChat and other channels. It also provides learning platforms for enterprises to boost brand awareness among corporate clients. The CEO of ZA Bank, Rockson Hsu, told Campaign that the company's completely online account setup and service offering provides advantages during the pandemic.


Client: Bowtie Life Insurance Company Ltd
Senior Manager, Branding & Creative: Basil Cheung
Assistant Marketing Manager: Martin Lee

Marketing Executive: Kelly Cheung, Stephanie Yau

Advertising Agency: Frengers communications
Creative Director: Jason Yu
Creative Team: Jacob Wong, Ray Nam, Yeo Cheng
Account Director: Rita Yeung
Account Manager: Sana Leung
Strategic Planner: Augustin Chan

TVC Production Mo @ Yamanyamo

Photography Lewis Ho 小黑 @ Studio Incline

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