Edelweiss: Encouraging fearless investment

By Ashwini Gangal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | July 19, 2010
The campaign articulates the consumer's need to fearlessly act on his aspirations, positions Edelweiss as an enabler of these aspirations and promises to help the investor journey from 'I Can't' to 'I Can'

Edelweiss has launched a new corporate campaign that aims to establish the brand amongst a wider audience, in readiness for the brand's expansion and entry into the retail category.

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Specifically, the brand is looking at expansion into retail broking and mutual funds; and entry into life insurance and housing finance. Another objective is to position the brand, such that it resonates with 'New India' that is progressive, ambitious and receptive to change. There is no product hard-sell through this campaign.

Edelweiss Capital, founded in 1995, currently operates in the areas of investment banking, brokerage services and asset management and financing. It has a group net worth of over Rs 2,400 crore and a pre-tax profit of Rs 333 crore for FY10.

The target group for the campaign includes the professional 30-year-old metropolitan male -- salaried or into business -- who is an opportunistic 'doer'; someone who believes that money will help him transit to a better future and sees money as a surrogate to his self-worth.

"The campaign targets a newer, more retail audience. Care has been taken not to alienate existing corporate and institutional clients. Both the retail and the corporate sets will co-exist under the mother brand -- Edelweiss," explains Shabnam Panjwani, head, marketing communications, Edelweiss Securities.

She adds that the campaign has been consumer tested and found to resonate strongly with diverse customer sets -- from high net-worth individuals to middle-class investors.

The creative duties for the campaign are with boutique agency, Ideas@work. "The agency was given one word from the client that worked as a brief: empowerment," shares Zarvan Patel, co-founder and creative director, Ideas@work.

The brand uses 'Now You Can' as its tagline, and the campaign plays on the transition from 'Can't' to 'Can'.

"Today, luxury is no longer a dirty word and our entrepreneurial spirit is burning brighter than ever. The nation is no longer scared to dream. The campaign had to reflect this spirit," says Prashant Godbole, co-founder and creative director, Ideas@work.

The long-duration TVCs use no spoken words; only images and text set to music by Ram Sampat. The TVCs have been shot largely in Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi, Malaysia. The film was directed by Prashant Godbole and produced by Films Group. The stills have been captured by photographer, Swapan Parekh.

Edelweiss has been advertising since 2007, primarily to a corporate and institutional audience. January 2009 saw the launch of the 'Now I can' campaign, with print and television as primary media. The present campaign will utilise the entire gamut of media, including Hindi and English business, news and entertainment TV channels; print; cinema and the internet.

Can it make a mark?

The campaign has received mixed reactions from experts. Prathap Suthan, chief creative officer, Cheil Worldwide, says, "The campaign is clearly based on great consumer insight and is aimed at corporate employees. It successfully taps into the fears and doubts that consumers like us feel, while investing money into investment companies. It's never about the consumer and his money; it's invariably about being taken for a ride by the company that lands a huge commission due to the investment. Edelweiss has caught on to this consumer sentiment perfectly."

He remarks, "The communication provokes me, and Edelweiss is surely on the right path with this campaign."

However, he adds that while mirroring consumers' suspicions would help generate a lot of interest in the brand; the campaign fails to provide the next step, that is, conveying to the consumer how exactly the brand plans to step in and help.

Nilesh Vaidya, executive creative director, Euro RSCG India, says, "While I have nothing against one-word ideas, I feel words like 'can' or 'can't' aren't ideas anymore. Too many brands have used these words in some form or the other. Diesel used the word, 'stupid'; and Barack Obama is the most memorable example for the word, 'can'."

He adds, "The films are slickly executed; but can you see yourself talking about them tomorrow? I can't."