MAM

How Different From Competitors?

No longer a recluse in the world of advertising, Indian financial services are out there in full force to grab customer attention offering rosy policies and even rosier dreams. On the other hand, what the agency 'wallas' have to keep in mind is to refrain from making any tall claims in the ads they churn out for these financial bodies... which in turn leaves them with a very limited milieu to work on. And what with all the clutter, one can hardly differentiate one ad from the other these days as far as this particular sector is concerned. So what is the solution? As always, the clichéd word "different" springs to mind.

And different it is... The recently launched ad campaigns across the media for HDFC Bank has sure caught on with people. When one thinks about the banks which advertise in the media, the first (and maybe only) name that comes to mind is that of ICICI and its larger than life brand ambassador - Amitabh Bachchan. Well, nothing as flamboyant as that in the case of HDFC; though whatever has been done has been noticed, to say the least!

The 'Don't Wait' hoardings of HDFC Bank seen all over the city

With a 360 degrees approach in advertising which covers television, radio, print and outdoor; HDFC's ads with the tag line "We understand your world;" conceptualised by Euro RSCG are surely making their presence felt. The message is clear and the consumer connect is ubiquitous.

The team behind it:



Agency: Euro RSCG

Chief strategic officer and executive director: Suman Srivastava

Concept: Deven Sansare, Ashok Karnik (Vice president & creative director)

Art Director: Kapil Sawant

Film Director: Mahesh Mathai (Highlight Films)

Outdoor pictures: Suresh Natarajan

Account Managers: Vikas Kumar (associate VP), Rishi Sharma (account group head), Aparimita Basu (account executive)



Message conveyed through the ads:

Radio Spot for HDFC Credit Cards
Boy: I tried flowers, chocolates, love letter bhi likha, stood under the window in the rain and sang a love song, arre kya nahi kiya, but didn't even get a smile from Pooja…

MVO: Don't wait to express your love. Call 1600-33-4332 to get a credit card from HDFC Bank.

Boy: Then I gave her this diamond ring and…

Girl: Amit, you think we should call my second cousins for the wedding reception…?

Signature tune

MVO: HDFC Bank. We understand your world.

The baseline of 'We understand your world' is an old one that HDFC Bank has been using for the past couple of years. What Euro RSCG has done is explain to the consumers how exactly HDFC Bank understands their world and how exactly it fits into their lives.

Talking about how the agency tackled this particular ad campaign, Euro RSCG chief strategic officer and executive director Suman Srivastava said, "We believe in tracking "prosumers" - the section of consumers who are the trend setters and opinion leaders in a given category. In the banking industry, we noticed that prosumers were asking for everything right now. Not only did they want service immediately, but they were not even willing to wait to buy durables or for that matter even a house."

Radio Spot for HDFC Car Loans
Man: Pooja…

Woman: Hmm…

Man: I love you. I want to marry you. I want to spend my whole life with you. I want to spend my next life with you. I want you to be my companion as we make the journey of love on the road of life…

Woman: How? You don't even have a car…

MVO: Don't wait to get onto the road. Call 1600-33-4332 to get a car loan from HDFC Bank.

SFX: Car on the road.

Man: I love you. I want to…

Pooja (from a distance): Amit! Are you talking to the car again?

Signature tune

MVO: HDFC Bank. We understand your world.

Srivastava elaborates, "HDFC Bank has a very wide range of products and we found that it was in a position to satisfy all the needs of these prosumers - in terms of products as well as service. However, consumers did not know of all the products that HDFC Bank offers - for example - even HDFC Bank savings bank customers did not know that the bank offers credit cards. All this thinking helped us crystallise our thought and led to the creation of the "Don't wait" theme campaign."

While earlier, most financial services ads revolve around the aged; in the various versions of the HDFC TVC (television commercial) there is a clear indication of targeting the youth who is eager to settle down in life. Thus indicating a clear marketing thrust by HDFC towards the youth - the 24 to 30 years segment. Srivastava explains the reason, "Banking is a habit that forms early in life. To that extent all banks focus on the youth and young professionals. This is not a new thrust from HDFC Bank, but the trend has been there for a while now."

Radio Spot for HDFC InstaAlerts
SFX: SMS beep.

MVO: That was an alert that your salary has been credited to your HDFC Bank account.

SFX: SMS beep.

MVO: That was an alert that your cash withdrawal amount is greater than the specified limit.

SFX: SMS beep.

MVO: That was an alert that your telephone bill needs to be paid.

SFX: SMS beep.

MVO: That was an alert about your bank balance this week.

MVO: Introducing InstaAlert from HDFC Bank. Don't wait to get your account information. Get updates about your accounts through SMS and email. To know more, call 1600-33-4332.

Signature tune

MVO: HDFC Bank. We understand your world.

With so many financial services in the fray and all of whom advertise extensively, HDFC makes a deliberate effort to differentiate itself from the rest. The bank's key strength lies in their ability to consistently deliver a superior banking product. Says Srivastava, "The Bank has always focussed first on their own back room processes to ensure that they can deliver a great product before they go to the market to make a noise about it. Therein lies the strength of the Bank." Not one to swagger unlike some banks which announce products first and then figure out how to deliver them, HDFC Bank believes in investing money in ensuring that the product is perfect. That is one of the reasons behind its success and profitability.

"I like it when my bank opens when I want it to"

Being one of the more visible advertising campaigns recently, HDFC has made a mark with its print ads too. The 'We understand your world' print campaigns emphasise the fact that the HDFC bank can be accessed at the convenience of the banker. One of the ads conveys, "I like it when my bank opens whenever I want it to." This ad shows a man working on his laptop and promotes the bank's e-Age servicing account which provides 24 hour net banking and 'a lot more.'

Another ad provides us with "Five ways to visit the bank on a bank holiday." Here again stressing that the bank understands the needs of its clients. These ads seem to be aimed mainly at today's net savvy youth.

Now you don't have a car... now you do!!

Yet another print ad focussed on car loans and has the tag line - "Now you don't have a car. Now you do." This one emphasises that the HDFC Bank that people need a loan without hassles and delays and that they approve car loans, personal loans, etc against most shares, investments, relief bonds as well as insurance policies in almost no time. And here's a cracker... If you're in a real hurry, just can just log onto www.hdfcbank.com for e-instant loan approvals in 60 seconds flat. What's more, the bank promises to take care of all your dreams by financing every loan you need. Quite a reverie!!!

HDFC's International Silver Credit Card - The card for wherever you go

Another way that HDFC understands the world of the consumer is by its International Silver Credit Card which is tagged as "the card for wherever you go." The card offers diminishing interest rate, comprehensive insurance coverage, attractive rewards programme, travel benefits and balance transfer - a complete range of products and services.

Coming to the TVC of HDFC loans; with the tagline 'Don't Wait!' it endorses the new age living mantra - live for today. Sprinkled with a generous dose of humour and omnipresent laughter track (the way a sitcom is conceived actually), the TVC shows a guy proposing to his girlfriend after being 'coached' by his sister and brother-in-law. In a bid to reassure his girlfriend about his seriousness and stable financial condition, he flaunts his HDFC credit card. In the process he fumbles and hence the laughter element. Unlike other TVCs, this one is neither flashy nor does it rely on any other element to hold its ground and drives home the point that with HDFC around, one does not need to wait to make any decision in life.

Srivastava claims that the initial response to ad campaign has been really good. "We have received positive feedback from HDFC Bank employees and business associates as well as our friends and associates. We had done a base brand track before launching the campaign and will be doing a check after the campaign gets over. And that will be the real test for us."

After a long time has come a brand that has neither relied on star power to sell itself nor has spent truckloads of money in doing just that. Pure creativity in the ads that have been packaged well seems to be HDFC's forte. A reflection perhaps of the bank itself - no flash, just solid delivery.

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