afaqs! news bureau

Saatchi & Saatchi to partner Eko

The agency won the business without a pitch

Saatchi & Saatchi, Mumbai has won the creative duties for Eko, a brand which attempts to provide branchless banking to one and all. The agency won the business without a formal pitch process.

Eko approached the agency, hearing about its Lovemarks proposition, with its objective to turn the brand into a Lovemark one.

The Eko model works on the fundamental premise of giving everyone a bank account. It enables branchless banking using mobile – playing on the very India habit of missed calls as the medium of transaction, while leveraging existing distribution infrastructure to extend the service.

Saatchi & Saatchi to partner Eko
Saatchi & Saatchi to partner Eko
Eko is a service provider to the State Bank of India (SBI). Both have tied up to launch the SBI Mini Savings Bank Account, wherein SBI Mini Savings Bank Account holders can do a host of financial transactions including deposit and withdrawal from their accounts through their mobile phones at various SBI Eko Customer Service Points. The service has already been test launched in West Delhi and three districts in Bihar, where close to 4,000 have enrolled and are being serviced.

The agency has partnered to build Eko as a brand, from scratch – from designing the logo, to putting a brand proposition in place.

In a note to the media, Anand Raman, chief marketing officer, Eko says, "Saatchi's immense understanding of people as well as the nuances of talking the language of simplicity to the hitherto financially excluded and underserved people impressed us. Eko is a disruptive innovation in the making, and we were happy with the energy and passion Saatchi brought to the table. We are partnering with people who we think share our passion and fire to take Eko forward."

Adds Anand Siva, vice-president, Saatchi & Saatchi, "We are starting work for the brand on a clean slate. It's an incredible experience to be working on a firebrand that can change the lives of half a billion people! And in that lies our passion and drive. Eko is taking a giant step towards financial inclusion for the unbanked, and we are happy to be partnering with them."

Talking about the media to be used, Siva reveals that the media mix would rely heavily on below-the-line as of now, with on-ground activation being the focus. Traditional media such as print would also have to play a role. So would television, however, it would be a miniscule part currently.

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