Still image from branded short film Trapped, showing a woman crounching down behind a hotel reception desk

BBH Singapore brings insurance nightmares to life in short film

An elaborate 18-minute short has been created for Income Insurance to highlight its enhanced Covid-19 travel insurance cover

A new short film by BBH Singapore illustrates the pitfalls of inadequate insurance cover through the lens of horror. The film, created for Income Insurance, playfully pulls on all the genre tropes in the book, from jump scares to dead phone lines.

It follows a couple who are forced to stay behind on a trip after one of them tests positive for Covid-19. After booking into a rundown hotel, they are faced with a creepy receptionist, stomach-turning meals, haunted sounds, and terrifying guests.

To create the film, the agency enlisted people who know the genre well: Kelvin Tong, who directed and wrote the script for the film, has a number of horror feature films under his belt, while composer Joe Ng has been scoring horrors for over 20 years.

The brand name doesn’t appear once in the 18 minutes, taking a subtle approach to brand building rather than pushy advertising or product placement. Even the rollout strategy channelled conventional film releases, with trailers being widely shared across social media. A special escape room experience themed around the campaign in Singapore will be bringing the nightmare to life from June.

“This was a thrill to bring to life, and it was only possible thanks to our fearless clients who issued us the best challenge ever – make a genuinely scary film,” said BBH Singapore’s Luke Somasundram. “We all know advertising has its fair share of sleepless nights, but usually for different reasons.”

Trapped joins a slew of ads and branded shorts that are based in horror, from giffgaff’s Ode to Bad to Casey House’s short designed to fight stigma around HIV, as well as a positive reappraisal of the genre in the art world.

Agency: BBH Singapore + Publicis
Production Company: Boku Films
Director: Kelvin Tong