Axis Bank seeks a humorous connect

By , agencyfaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | January 21, 2008
After its re-branding, Axis Bank is out with its next ad campaign, this one on all the products it offers

UTI was

re-named and re-branded Axis Bank in mid-2007, complete with new logo. The communication was widespread, covering all media, making sure that existing customers were reassured about its identity and new customers didn't think twice before stepping into the bank. The campaign established an emotional connect with the bank's customers.

Once its re-branding activity, carried out by O&M, was over, Axis Bank lay low. But now it is ready with the next chapter in its communication strategy. Television commercials (TVCs) highlighting the products offered by Axis Bank are already on air. The attempt in them is to make a humorous connect.

Switzerland within India
The Personal Loans ad opens with a family getting ready in a hurry, dressing themselves in winter wear. They then stand against a backdrop of mountains and pose. They are actually standing for a photograph which will make them appear as if they were in Switzerland. The TVC ends with the voiceover: "If you have a desire to travel, we have personals loans to help you fulfil it."

The second TVC, Home Loans, shows a bride sitting on a decorated four poster bed. Her husband enters the room and stands at the doorpost. Both of them steal glances at each other. As is the custom, the bride then picks up a glass of milk to give to her husband. A hand from below takes the glass and passes it to another hand that comes up just in time. The glass is passed on by about 10 hands before it reaches the groom. When he finally takes a sip, we see that there are about a dozen people sleeping in the same room as the newly married couple. Here too, the VO ends the commercial saying: "If you desire your own space, we have home loans to help you build it." (Submit your opinion on this ad.)

Talking to agencyfaqs! about the insight for the TVCs, Sumanto Chattopadhyay, executive creative director, South Asia, O&M, says, "Indians uphold the joint family system and with it comes zero privacy. People feel the need for space of their own. With lifestyles changing, salaries increasing and double income households, this dream can now become reality."

While briefing O&M, Axis Bank was clear that the commercials should inform viewers about the bank's products and cut through the clutter in the segment. Humour was the perfect ingredient for the purpose. It was of utmost importance to the bank that its new image be upheld.

The idea behind the holiday snaps was to capture the fact that most families sacrifice their luxuries to meet everyday needs, explains Chattopadhyay. "Loans have a taboo associated with them. But now, families can indulge themselves a bit. Bollywood, too, is to blame for this freedom of travelling to far off places that the common man has attained," he says.

There are more TVCs ready to be aired. Unlike its re-branding campaign, Axis Bank will not use other forms of media very extensively for these communications. Though city-centric below the line activities are being carried out on a national level, it will concentrate on television as the sole medium. The next financial product it will highlight is its financial advisory services. The next fiscal year will also see a corporate campaign.

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