What does money mean to you?

By Shibani Gharat , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | September 01, 2011
The importance of money and what it means changes from person to person. Banking on this idea, Kotak Mahindra Bank has created a high-decibel 'Money ka matlab' campaign acknowledging the value of money and celebrating 25 years of its existence.

'Painting the town red' - well, Kotak Mahindra Bank seems to have taken this phrase literally! TV, print, outdoor, radio, internet and social networking sites suddenly seem busy decoding what money means to individuals from different walks of life.

Kotak has come up with a series of short advertisements for various media that individually tell a story. The campaign revolves around the fact that money is not just about things, it is also about the state of mind. There are testimonials of real people speaking their minds, in response to the question-Money ka matlab? (What does money mean to you?).

Karthi Marshan, group head, marketing, Kotak Mahindra Bank, tells afaqs! that the concept of money has also evolved with time in India. "To talk about money and your aspirations with the money that you have is no longer taboo. Nowadays, we are open about money - we talk of brands, expensive cars and at times, even flaunt money. Money has acquired a special meaning in our lives. We have a relationship with money, like we have a relation with our family."

The campaign is not just about money but also about the choices that one makes. It's about how individuals choose to spend the money. The campaign is created out of actual comments from the common man, taken on the streets, in malls, office premises and other public areas. They will soon be uploaded on the social network.

The concept is extended from the previous campaign that spoke about turning 25 and was also conversational.

Marshan adds, "Our last communication dealt with turning 25. It is a very strategically important age. It denotes security and growth. We found that it was a unique opportunity to spread awareness and enhance credibility. Hence, we came up with 'grt 2 b 25' campaign. But we are still in our 25th year! And, there is an opportunity to keep the conversations with our audiences alive."

This led to the company adding a new dimension to the entire campaign. Marshan adds, "Yes, we have age on our side. In BFSIs, age is equivalent to trust. The age is important. But, it is also equally important to retain youthfulness and strike a conversation. The campaign has begun engaging our audiences in the real long term conversations we want to have."

The target group for Kotak comprises people in the age group of 25-45 years. The company has also set up an interactive webpage, www.moneykamatlab.com, that takes a visitor to the contest page on Facebook. On the use of social networking, Marshan says, "People visit their home page on a social networking site such as Facebook more than visiting a branch. That gave us the idea of unveiling the contest on Facebook."

He also states that though the youth dominate the social network, it has also been responsible in making older people more youthful.

The company refused to divulge details on the media spend of the campaign. "However, we wish to make it look like a Rs 100 crore campaign," says Marshan, adding that traditionally, Kotak is a rather conservative spender.

Cartwheel has taken care of the creative for this campaign, whereas Starcom is responsible for mainstream media buying.

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