IDBI Bank: All for friends

By Prachi Srivastava , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising
Last updated : November 01, 2013
Through its new television commercials, IDBI Bank aims to reinforce the thought that the bank is for "everyone" and it takes care of customers as a real friend.

IDBI Bank, in 2008, had launched a television campaign to communicate its retail banking services. It wanted to position itself as a bank meant for everyone and not just the biggies. Extending that thought and reinforcing its retail banking services, the brand has come up with four new television commercials.

Abhijit Avasthi

This time, while the main idea is to reinforce the thought that the bank is for "everyone", the commercials are themed around friendship. They also aim to communicate the thought that IDBI is its customers' friend and takes care of them like real friends do. The communication concept is based on IDBI Bank playing an 'enabling' role in their progress through customer-centric services that help them reach out to the world of expanding opportunities.

The first ad opens with a little girl and boy sitting in the school ground. The girl says that one day she was suffering from cold and she didn't have a handkerchief but her friend gave his tie to her to wipe her nose.

The second ad again opens with a school girl and boy sitting on their bench. The boy states that everyone calls him 'motu' (fatty) in the school, tuition and play-ground. However, his friend (the girl sitting with him) always calls him by his real name, Nikhil and so, she is his best friend. The girl then takes out her lunchbox and asks the boy what he had for lunch.

The third film features two boys standing in their school's corridor. One boy says that the previous day when his trouser had torn his friend stood behind him throughout the day to save him from embarrassment. He adds that the friend even dropped him off to his home after school and he is his best friend.

The fourth commercial opens with a Punjabi girl and boy in their residential locality. The little boy is seen peeling off sugarcane and the girl says that she loves eating sugarcane. However, until she gets her new teeth, she can't peel sugarcane and hence her friend is helping her. The film closes with her asking him how much time it will take to peel, and to hurry up.

All the four ads have a voiceover in the end that says, "Aisi Dosti agar ek Bank nibhaye to?"(what if a bank would do what your friend would do). The films conclude with the new tagline, which is a corollary to this sentiment "Bank Aisa Dost Jaisa".

Talking about the reason for launching the ad campaign, Krishnendu Banerjee, CGM, corporate strategy and communications department, IDBI Bank, says, "The IDBI Bank brand has not been in the public domain for over three years, so there was a pressing imperative to re-enter this space and to remind our TG of what the bank stands for today from their perspective for a top-of-the-mind recall of the brand and its USP. This is appositely captured in the TVCs currently in circulation."

Abhijit Avasthi, national creative director, Ogilvy & Mather tells afaqs! that the brief given to the agency was to strengthen the positioning of 'banking for all'. "While we were discussing about it, the clients gave us a few instances of how customers who deal with IDBI realise the difference between IDBI and other banks. These guys are literally true friends. They will never take advantage of a situation and neither will they let their customers down and that's a great relationship to be in. That's how this idea came about!"

This core message has been conveyed in the four situational ads, he adds. The kids' innocent conversations touch upon the fact that a true friend not only savours the happiness of being there for his/her friend(s) but also helps the other sail through difficult times.

Jitender Dabas

Manish Bhatt

Why kids? "We were looking at what could be interesting ways of bringing alive friendship and kids' innocence is something that everyone marvels at. They think selflessly and have no alternative motive. They have sincerity in absolutely all kinds of actions," adds Avasthi.

Innocent appeal?

Jitender Dabas, executive vice-president and head of planning, McCann New Delhi, says the TVCs are very charming execution which makes the ads stand out. "People are just loving the ads and finding them very 'cute'. It effectively delivers the simple message that IDBI bank will be like a friend. Financial services brands need to have persona that invokes confidence and trust that comes from size, stature or expertise," he says. However, a bank should be like a friend is not an incorrect but still a generic proposition. And, with such a 'cute' execution of the same will IDBI bank be able to create a dent in the market against the likes of ICICI, HDFC or SBI is something that he's not sure.

Manish Bhatt, founder director at Scarecrow Communications, says, "The ad is not hard-hitting because I am sure the brand will have something to offer. 'Your bank is your best friend' is a first level generic strategy. I think, the planner and creative has done a relatively lazy job while the director and producer have justified their work. Getting cute kids to talk is an evergreen formula that draws one's attention but there should have been some rational points, some offerings, services of the bank because financial decisions are not taken only on the basis of emotions."

First Published : November 01, 2013
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