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Axis Bank becomes a 'Partner in Progress'

By Ashwini Gangal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | February 29, 2012
Through its new brand campaign titled 'Badhti Ka Naam Zindagi', Axis Bank changes its positioning from 'a solutions provider' to 'a preferred partner in progress'.

Having successfully established itself as a customer-centric bank, Axis Bank has taken a leap towards a fresh stance. The private sector bank has recently launched a new brand campaign to shift its positioning statement from 'Aapka Solution' to 'Badhti Ka Naam Zindagi'.

Axis Bank

About two years ago, in a move to be seen as an easy-to-access, quick and efficient player, Axis Bank had released a campaign that positioned it as a 'solutions provider'. The ad films of the campaign carried the brand thought 'There's always a solution', thus highlighting the brand's range of products as a fix for its customers' needs.

Now, the new campaign aims to highlight the bank as 'a preferred partner in progress.' This marks the evolution of Axis Bank's role from a 'solutions provider' to an 'encouraging and enthusing partner'. The brand attempts to own an attitude that resonates with the everyday lives of its target audience.

Manisha Lath Gupta

R Balki

Explaining the philosophy behind this new positioning, Manisha Lath Gupta, chief marketing officer, Axis Bank, says, "'Badhti Ka Naam Zindagi' or 'Progress On...' is an expression that encapsulates Axis Bank's belief in the meaning and purpose of life. Success today is no longer about having accomplished a goal. It's about setting newer goals and achieving each one of them. People today feel inspired about their capabilities and this in turn triggers hope towards a better life." Apparently, Axis Bank zeroed on this philosophy after more than six months of extensive consumer workshops and brand research.

Regarding the movie-like execution of the ad, R Balki, chairman, Lowe Lintas and film maker opines that nowadays most of us are deeply influenced by films, so much so that we like to believe we are actors in our own private films.

"To express the philosophy of 'Badhti Ka Naam Zindagi', it was interesting to visualise the real journey of life as if it were a film and use a director's language to plot every step," he adds.

Along with TV, Axis Bank is also leveraging the digital medium to popularise its new brand statement. The brand has launched two applications titled 'Meri Zindagi Ka Safar' and 'Meri Zindagi Ki Picture' on its Facebook page. The former is an app that enables users to virtually mark the places they have travelled to, allowing them to find out how much distance they have traversed so far. The latter is an app that lets users compile these images to showcase their life's story.

Does the change work?

While the idea of 'A Partner in Progress' is deemed as one lacking in novelty, creative and brand planning experts find other reasons to appreciate the campaign.

Suresh Mohankumar

N Padmakumar

"This 'Partner at every milestone in life' may not be an entirely fresh space," critiques Suresh Mohankumar, national planning head, Dentsu Communications, adding nonetheless, "But the interpretation is inspiring and it is a big step-up for the brand, as 'Badhti Ka Naam Zindagi' captures the mood of the consumer."

He finds the narrative style of the ad effortless and says, "This treatment serves to make the bank seem real, someone close to me and more importantly, very human."

From a brand strategy perspective, Mohankumar opines that the insight used by Axis Bank is simple and true. "A consumer's understanding of finance and his needs from his financial partner are different at different stages of his life. The role played by his financial partner also changes with time," he explains, adding that the campaign has helped Axis Bank carve a unique space for itself.

N Padmakumar, national creative director, Rediffusion-Y&R, says, "As far as the positioning goes, there's nothing new in this one. It is pretty much one of the most obvious and time-worn statements in this space. However, in my opinion, so is that of a 'solutions provider'."
Well, does the ad capture this new positioning? "Absolutely. And charmingly, too."

Padmakumar finds the execution very refreshing. "With its 'movie-like' approach, the execution has definitely risen above the boring and predictable positioning statement, and has in fact given it memorability and likeability."

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