The 'YES' approach

By Antara Ghosal , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | June 11, 2010
YES BANK comes out with a new campaign to reach out to the changing profile of its TG

YES BANK has made its first significant consumer foray with a multi media campaign which plays on the emotion card and amplifies the crucial moments in day to day life, when people want to hear a 'Yes' - and how that one 'Yes' changes their lives for the better.

& #BANNER1 & #The YES BANK brand was created in 2004 on the positive connotation of the word 'Yes'. The current creative concept is built on this positive brand association. The objective of the campaign is to fuel growth of consumer and SME banking by establishing YES BANK as the preferred banking brand, with a consumer centric value proposition. "Being a young brand, our first challenge was to create brand awareness and produce enough brand recall," explains Anindya Datta, chief marketing officer, YES BANK, while speaking to afaqs!.

Since its inception, YES BANK's focus has been on corporate businesses. Now, it aims to expand into the retail/SME businesses, too. Also, earlier, it did not have a nationwide presence. Now, with more than 150 branches in 25 cities and more than 200 ATMs across the country, the brand finds it the right time to come out with a mass media campaign.

"Unlike other institutional sponsored banks, we have started from scratch and thus have been very serious about brand building since the beginning. Before this, we did a lot of brand building through one to one marketing," says Datta, adding, "Now that we have things in place - branch presence, relevant products, a strong base of Rs 40,000 crore in the balance sheet and a net profit of Rs 470 crore last year, we felt the need to transform the brand from being corporate centric to customer centric and reach out more to our target group (TG)."

The client brief was thus to create something unique to the brand, which has an emotional connect and to which consumers can easily relate. "Most of the communication in this segment is a little clichéd. If you replace the logo, they are all alike, mostly talking about their services. Our idea was to create something that's really unique to us," adds Datta.

The campaign, conceptualised by Triton Communications, was broken through three films. The first one has a young man waiting to hear a 'Yes' after proposing to the girl of his dreams; the second has a group of young ambitious entrepreneurs waiting to hear a 'Yes' for an approval of a proposal; and the third one shows a baby girl wanting to keep a puppy at home but waiting for her father to say 'Yes'. These situations connect to the fact that YES BANK understands the value of the word 'Yes' and is always there to support and fulfil dreams.

While the first film was released a few days ago, the second and third films are to be released today.

Explaining the insight, Renton D'Souza, national creative director, Triton Communications, says, "In everyone's life, there is a 'Yes' moment that changes it - forever. Deep within, every human being seeks acceptance, affirmation and appreciation. A single 'Yes' addresses and fulfils this very need. It inspires confidence and infuses positivity. It changes one's life. This insight forms the core of the Yes philosophy. YES BANK embodies this philosophy and endeavours to recreate the feeling of the powerful 'Yes' moment for the customer over and over again, with every interaction."

The team at Triton Communications which worked on the campaign includes D'Souza; Pankaj Arora, executive director (Mumbai/Pune); Virendra Saini, senior vice-president; Ashish Verma, Ruchika Parab, Vinayak Pattar and Atul Purohit at creative; and Rakesh Ramchandani at client servicing.

The film was produced by Aum Sai Productions and directed by Raju Desai.

The brand defines its primary TG as the owners of SME businesses and the growing middle class consumer population in India. Its secondary audience are the corporate and mid-market businesses. Accordingly, the TVCs are created to cater to all the life cycles of the bank's TG.

The first film, showing the young man proposing a girl, targets the young vibrant middle class India. The puppy commercial is for the middle aged consumers and the third shows business deals being signed between senior professionals.

YES BANK executives add that all the commercials, after exploring different situations spinning around the word 'Yes', cut across to shots of the bank's branches and executives. "We use our branches in a powerful way to engage with our consumers. We conduct a lot of activity within the branches and organise community events regularly. We organise programmes on several social and environmentally relevant themes like celebrating Environment Day, holding events on rain water harvesting, cycling and sanitation and invite our stakeholders to take part in these," explains Rajat Mehta, vice-president, marketing, YES BANK.

The marketing spend for the brand is about Rs 25 crore. The media mix includes print, TV, outdoor and below-the-line. "About 50 per cent of our spends went to TV, while 40-45 per cent is allocated to print and the remaining 10 per cent on other media. We are going to unleash a BTL campaign called 'Power of yes' in high footfall areas," adds Mehta.

Talking about the response generated by the campaign, executives say that although it's too early to comment on that, they have been receiving compliments from various quarters and there have been heightened walk-ins in the branches as well.

Is it a Yes or a No?

The campaign has generated mixed responses from the industry. While some find the 'Power of yes' a powerful plank, others find that the creative of the first ad in the campaign is from an era gone by.

Sharing his view on the couple TVC, Raghu Bhat, executive creative director, Scarecrow, says, "'Power of yes' is a powerful plank. It is extendable, creatively liberating and also reinforces the brand name. But the challenge is to make the films emotional without them becoming 'saccharine sweet'."

According to him, 'boy proposing' is not a new situation. "I wouldn't use words like 'shabd' and 'mahatva' in the voiceover or jingle as they are not colloquial. Also, I wouldn't show the waiter rejoicing when the boy gets the girl. That's a bit unreal," he adds.

However, Sandipan Bhattacharjee, ECD, BBDO India doesn't find the creative much dated. "It made me really nostalgic. Not because it reminded me of my first wait for a 'Yes' but because it quickly took me two decades back in time when I would helplessly surrender to the two DD channels dishing out terrible ads like this. This ad is from an era gone by, it's precious stuff. We must preserve it, someone please call the National Archive," he says.

He adds that there is an idea there; but it's lost in a cesspool of needless melodrama, insufferable hamming and bad casting.