You loved to hate him as Chatur in 3 Idiots; and now, Omi Vaidya is back as the "irritating yet endearing" Mr Chowgule, in IndusInd Bank's new television commercials.
The bank, in its new advertising campaign, has attempted to reposition itself as a young, energetic and responsive brand. A set of three TVCs have been created by RK Swamy BBDO, featuring actors Vaidya and Shruti Seth.
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The first commercial, titled Quick Dinner, has Mr Chowgule returning home from work and ordering his wife to cook an array of dishes for dinner soon. Mrs Chowgule, clearly irritated by the order, asks him to 'fast' if he wants his food any quicker. The ad ends with a voiceover that says that an IndusInd Bank savings account would instantly fetch the customer a debit card, PIN and cheque book.
The second film, Order Pe Order, features the male protagonist waking up and shooting orders to his wife while still in bed. This time, the message is about online payments, which enable the customers to carry out transactions at their own convenience.
The third ad, Curiousity Unlimited, shows Mrs Chowgule returning home after a shopping trip. Mr. Chowgule throws a volley of questions at her. The service highlighted in this film is regular mobile updates for every transaction.
Each film ends with the tagline - 'Makes you feel richer'.
Talking to afaqs!, Mohit Ganju, head, marketing, IndusInd Bank, says, "We wanted the agency to create communication that is clutter-breaking and slightly different in the category. We did not want to highlight the services merely by showing a bank branch, ATMs, or making such direct references to our services."
"The campaign is built on strong consumer insights and each of the situations depicted in the ads are a slice of life and extremely relatable. The choice of casting and humour will definitely help us break the clutter and create some disruptive communication," he adds.
The insight behind the films was that consumers seek such comforts almost everywhere, says Mann.
"We thought if we were to make a strong youthful execution, we had to portray a young couple reflecting the modern lifestyle. Where the films differ from others is the difference in the shades of characters; more so the irritating yet endearing husband," Mann says.
The campaign primarily focuses on the television medium and will run till the end of April. The bank also plans to use selective outdoor and radio promotions. Target promotions in movie halls are also on the cards, following the Indian Premier League and Board exams in schools.
It is estimated that Rs 5 crore will be the media spend on the TV campaign. Media Direction is the media agency for the campaign.
Not rich enough
Ad pundits are clearly not impressed. Most find the creative thought overused and the films failing to hold attention.
Jacob is of the view that most banks offer the services highlighted and in such a situation, the TVCs need to be endearing and charming, which the films are not.
According to Robby Mathew, national creative director, Interface Communications, the films are not too bad, although the production values could have been much better. He, however, thinks that using Vaidya was a good idea.
"Vaidya gets the ads an immediate cut-through, especially for a bank that has low ad spends. It got them noticed. None of the films work towards the baseline, though," he says.
Vivek Dutta, business director and national planning head, Hakuhodo Percept is not awed either. He is of the view that the films are overshadowed by the celebrity's presence.
"Somewhere, I think the TVCs have not gone beyond the charm of the celebrity, Omi Vaidya. I think his presence overwhelms the script. I would remember the commercial; but I wonder if I could say the same for the brand," he says.
Dutta agrees with Jacob that while the commercials are funny and entertaining overall, they would probably fail to move the consumers enough to seek an association with the brand.