Kotak Mahindra to simplify

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | August 04, 2009
The new brand thought for Kotak Mahindra Bank comes after a gap of six years

The economic recession has taken a tough toll, especially on financial service brands. As a result, most players in the segment have launched communications to convince and console the customers and restore their faith in the market. Kotak Mahindra Bank joins the bandwagon through its recent communication which, after a gap of six years, also involves a change in the brand thought.

From 'Thinking investments. Think Kotak', brand Kotak Mahindra will now use the tagline - Let's make money simple. Karthi Marshan, head, group marketing, Kotak Mahindra Group, in a conversation with afaqs!, says, "Though Kotak started off in the investments space a long while ago, today, with a bank in our umbrella, we are not simply an investment expert. We are an overall money expert, and we thought it was appropriate to associate our brand that way."

McCann Erickson, Mumbai has put in place two commercials to communicate the thought change for the brand. Although the commercials depict Kotak Mahindra, the new tagline will be used across communication for all services offered by the company.

In the first of the two ads, a few children run to a man's house to collect money for a cricket tournament. The man wants to pitch in, but is wary of his wife, who is on the prowl to control his spendthrift habits. Even though she catches him red-handed, he somehow manages to fulfill his wish.

The second ad shows a family in a restaurant, where, after paying the bill, the husband leaves with the child. The wife, however, checks for the tip paid by her husband. She cautiously takes away a Rs 100 note from the sum after making sure he is not watching.

Talking about the creatives, Akshay Kapdanak, creative director (art), McCann Erickson, Mumbai, understands the realities with wives. "They are finding ways to avoid spending money for small things - that's how they are. However, sometimes it is alright to be large-hearted. The campaign says that you can continue to be large-hearted for the everyday simple things if you do them correctly. There would be no need for a change in lifestyle as such."

Kapdanak, along with Niranjan Kaushik, creative director (copy), comprised the creative team that worked on the campaign. The film has been shot in Mumbai by Ginger Water Films and directed by Sabyasachi (Zap).

Kotak Mahindra Bank was launched in 2003. However, the group has been present in the financial sector for about 24 years, covering the entire gamut of financial services from personal and corporate banking to mutual funds, wealth management and insurance.

In 1986, Kotak Finance Limited (as it was called earlier) became Kotak Mahindra Bank. The various taglines that the brand has had in the past include 'Ideas First' (which started around 1996) and Zindagi ka Hisaab Kitaab (in 2000).

Currently, the creative duties of the group's various services are split between McCann and JWT. While McCann handles banking and mutual funds, JWT looks after life insurance, credit cards and securities. Starcom is the media custodian and was brought on board in 2007.

Prior to the split of the creative duties, Ogilvy was handling the creative duties for the entire portfolio of Kotak Mahindra. The agency handled the account for about five years (from 2003-08). Madison was the media partner for about four years (2003-07). The company also had a close association with Grey Worldwide (then Trikaya Grey).

Without talking about ad spends, Marshan clarifies that television advertising will be used for widespread categories under the Kotak umbrella, especially banking and life insurance. The Internet, print and outdoor will also be considered.

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