AXA : Fiction in the spotlight

A French insurance group uses well-written, speculative scenarios to help visitors understand its business.

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The feature

‘Inside the Emerging Risks Room’ is a section in AXA’s online magazine, ‘Spotlight’, which uses fictional scenarios describing how risks could play out in the future, such as a disease pandemic or a major attack on the internet of things.

The imaginary scenarios are supported by non-fiction material, including facts the scenarios are based on and expert discussion presented as a series of text messages between the participants.

The takeaway

AXA’s use of fiction on a corporate website is unusual, and perhaps unique, but it is an effective and creative way of making one aspect of AXA’s business more understandable.

Fiction works in this case because the scenario format aligns closely with the business of insurance risk planning. There is also plenty of non-fiction in the section to provide valuable information and context (no one can accuse AXA of ‘fake news’). They are also well written and designed, with eye-catching illustrations.

Corporate sites normally, and appropriately, do not cross the factual barrier with their content. However, this unorthodox approach, when done well and applied in a limited way, could help bring conventional ‘corporate’ stories and topics to life for visitors in a way that facts alone could not.
First published 15 May, 2018
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