Ad Nut
May 25, 2023

Income Insurance goes all-in on travel horror story fearmongering

The 18-minute creepy and entertaining opus 'Trapped' by BBH Singapore, directed by Kelvin Tong, is a deliberate shift by the insurer towards new content consumption trends.

Everyone likes to swap travel horror stories, provided they have non-horrific, if not happy, endings. When you're away from home in a far-flung destination, there is a heightened sense of danger and desperation when things go wrong. If you can overcome the threat, it's a thrill. If you can't, it's just hellish. 

Medical and travel insurance companies also like sharing travel horror stories, for obvious reasons. Insurance marketers will say it's important to let travellers know the potential risks and help them avoid being trapped in a horrible situation financially. The cynical would say insurers prey on fears to sell their product. Both are true.

The same can be said of the latest campaign from Income Insurance introducing travel insurance with enhanced Covid-19 coverage. There's no passive-aggressive threats here, but unabashed preying on travellers' fears in an entertaining way that Ad Nut can admire.

The centrepiece is Trapped, the 18-minute horror film shown above, created by BBH Singapore and directed by Kelvin Tong, the director behind horror hit The Maid and tragedy Eating Air, with music from horror fim composer Joe Ng. 

While Ad Nut's short attention span is not used to a 18-minute ad, the decision was a deliberate one in line with changing content consumption habits. 

As Income's chief customer officer Dhiren Amin explains: "This is a campaign that ticks all the boxes – a strong product focus to drive business, a shift from ads to content and acts versus just ads.... Fuelled by BBH and Publicis’ drive, Kelvin Tong’s energy and the internal team’s commitment, this campaign was turned around in just under two months.”  

The film can now be viewed on YouTube, StarHub TV+, the campaign microsite and other platforms for films and long format content. For those who don't have the patience a 30 second trailer has already racked up more than 1.8 million impressions, 370,600 views and 34,200 engagements across Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Tiktok in its first 12 days.

Amin's "content and acts" reference alludes to Income's collaboration with Singapore escape room company The Escape Artist to create a 'Trapped'-themed escape room experience beginning June 2023.

Ad Nut likes it when a brand has the fortitude to go 'all in' creatively as they did with this film. As Luke Somasundram of BBH Singapore said, the work was only made possible "thanks to our fearless clients who issued us the best challenge ever — make a genuinely scary film.” 

Does it entertain? Yes. 

Will it sell insurance? We'll see. For the brand, that's the scariest part still to come. 


Agency: BBH Singapore + Publicis
Film Production Company: Boku Films
Film Director: Kelvin Tong
Media agency: OMD Singapore 

Income Insurance Marketing Team
Income Insurance Digital Growth Team

Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.


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