Protection more "Coronation Street than James Bond"

Product placement could work - Bright Grey

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Consumers don't readily warm to protection insurance, so what prompts people to contact an adviser and buy it in the end?

Is it conversations with friends who have taken it out? Is it seeing someone they know go through an illness and witnessing the financial struggles they face? Or did their favourite soap highlight the need?

About five years ago I debated how good it would be if we could have a ‘storyline placement' in soap operas and reality TV shows.

My idea effectively looked to put a protection orientated storyline into a soap in the same way as a brand of lager might place one of their bottles in the hands of Daniel Craig. Although I was thinking more Coronation Street than James Bond.

It could be a character being diagnosed with a critical illness finding that they actually had a policy to pay off the mortgage.

Or more likely knowing soap script writers the character could initially panic, borrow some money from an extremely scary loan shark, and just when the villain had sent the boys round to get his money back - the critical illness policy would come to the rescue.

But doctoring scripts to promote protection might not be that easy and since my initial thoughts, the way products and ideas are promoted is changing.

The exciting world of social media has opened up a host of opportunities to connect with people, especially those who might not have been reached through traditional advertising methods.

Communicating the need for protection is an ongoing challenge. While much has changed within the critical illness market over the past twenty years what hasn't changed is that the need for protection is as great as ever.

We should therefore be making use of all the tools we have at our disposal to get the message out there. And that includes embracing the possibilities social media has to offer.

Roger Edwards is managing director of Bright Grey and Scottish Provident

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