Leo Burnett launches LeoFinancial, a division for financial brands

By , agencyfaqs! | In Advertising | February 05, 2007
To begin with, LeoFinancial has Centurion Bank and UTI Mutual Funds in its kitty


Burnett has launched LeoFinancial, a new division dedicated to handling financial brands. This division will employ experts who come from the field of finance, so that their expertise can be harnessed to the full. LeoFinancial will commence its operations with two of Leo Burnett's financial accounts, Centurion Bank and the more recently won UTI Mutual Funds.

According to Arvind Sharma, chairman and CEO, Leo Burnett, the finance sector is growing rapidly and requires a separate division to cater to the complex research and analysis required for communication purposes. "To manage the complexity of brands and offerings and appeal meaningfully to consumers, today's financial sector players need something more than just credentials, scale and financial brilliance - they need astute marketing," he says.

Arvind Sharma
He adds that agencies managing financial brands need to put together teams that understand finance, government regulatory policies, consumer behaviour, brand architecture and communication, all the same time. "Looking at this need, we decided to launch Leo Financials," Sharma explains.

Agency executives also feel that increasing financial sector liberalisation and rapid economic growth have dramatically increased both the assets and liabilities of the business. The market is seeing a rush of financial sector players, both local and international. The result is an increasing choice of financial products for the consumer, which automatically implies cut-throat competition among the players.

In addition, policy liberalisation means that banks no longer conduct banking alone, and insurance companies do more than offer only risk cover. Even security companies have gone beyond offering investment opportunities. Today, mutual funds compete with banks, insurance products are investment opportunities and 'convergence' seems to have become the buzzword. "Financial brands are getting stretched across options that the consumers can barely understand, much less distinguish between," says Sharma. But this is where the opportunity lies, according to him.

LeoFinancial's select team of brand strategists and creative folk will deliver simultaneously on the twin challenges that financial sector players face: to move rapidly in a fast-paced market and to strategically build long-term financial brands.

LeoFinancial's first major campaign is for UTI Mutual Funds. The campaign, with the tagline 'Let's plan to be rich', reflects the new attitude of Indian consumers towards money. It celebrates India's shedding of the old myth, 'too much wealth corrupts' and puts the new Indian desire to pursue riches aggressively out in the open.

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