Biprorshee Das

Simplifying the Religare brand

Launching a major corporate campaign on television, Religare Enterprises attempts to communicate its products and services through a simple and endearing message.

Financial services group Religare Enterprises, with its various arms, felt a need to raise brand awareness and make its target audience familiar with its portfolio of services. Taking care that the message does not get lost within the nature of the business, Religare has launched a corporate campaign that will serve as a comprehensive communication for future product specific communication, with an insight that is endearing and engaging.

Simplifying the Religare brand
Designed by creative partner Ogilvy, the television commercial is a mosaic of various situations in life that one can relate with a service offered by the group. For example, one situation in the film shows a boy passing on a bouquet of flowers to a child - to be given to a girl he fancies. The child demands something in return for the service and is offered a chocolate, which implies broking.

Similarly, another instance shows a bunch of children collecting money and buying ice-cream, implying mutual funds. To explain insurance, a couple of children are shown walking in the rain as one of them carries a raincoat over the other.

Simplifying the Religare brand
Simplifying the Religare brand
Simplifying the Religare brand
Through the film, a music score is played that is distinctively Indian. The use of children in the film is a deliberate attempt to keep the ideas simple and obviously, reach a wider audience with an emotional appeal. Also, showing children from multiple geographies in a subliminal manner conveys Religare's presence beyond India.

The film has been directed by New Zealand duo Louis Sutherland and Mark Albiston of The Sweet Shop. The music is by Amar Mangrulkar.

Talking to afaqs!, Subhrangshu Neogi, director, brand and corporate communications, Religare Enterprises, says, "We wanted to tell our target audience and consumers at large about what we are and what we do, more than what they already know.

"The communication captures the range of the group and its various businesses in a warm and endearing manner. It attempts to demystify certain aspects in a slightly more exotic and yet simple way."

"Religare is a strong brand. The challenge was to tell consumers that Religare was more than what they think in the financial space. There were many facets and businesses that came together to make the company what it is and that had to be communicated in a humane and simple way," adds Sanjay Thapar, group president, North and East, Ogilvy India.

Commenting on the execution strategy, Ajay Gahlaut, executive creative director, Ogilvy Gurgaon, says, "We used children to convey the message because that keeps it light and entertaining. Otherwise, it would get heavy. The music, too, is an appropriate track for the visuals and an attempt to keep the mix both Indian and international. We are showcasing an Indian company and hence, it was very important to maintain the Indian roots."

The brand campaign will not work in isolation and will be punctuated by various product and business specific campaigns. Immediately ahead are campaigns for Religare's broking and lending services.

Being in business for some time now, Neogi says that while the campaign could have been done earlier, Religare wanted to evolve as a brand and reach inflexion point by attaining a certain size and scale.

Given the footprint that the brand has in the country, the current campaign will be led by television and supplemented with cinema, outdoor and online - and limited usage of print.

The media duties are handled by Lintas Media Group.

Simple thoughts

Responses to the film have been mixed. While the insights and the execution work for a few, some are of the view that it is time for corporates to think beyond tried and tested methods.

Simplifying the Religare brand
Simplifying the Religare brand
Harish Arora, executive creative director, Dentsu India thinks that the film works on an emotional hook for the target audience and does a good job at it.

"The insight is simple, yet memorable. The idea to show kids to amplify the ease of financial services is heart warming and the use of the logo as an integral part of the film adds to the desired output of brand recall," says Arora.

"The strategy lies in the universal insight of how we all react to numbers and finances - it is always a complex and complicated area of our lives. To show just the opposite is a welcome relief," he adds.

According to Arora, the recall potential of the film comes from the point that the vignettes are stories that are glimpses of everyday life, things that we all have either done or can relate to, and the music, visuals and idea work well together.

Sandhya Srinivasan, managing partner and chief strategy officer, Law and Kenneth, is slightly more critical with her views.

"Most corporate ads have vignettes and convey the portfolio, so this was obviously done to communicate the expanse of the brand. Sometimes I do wish corporates did something dramatic...very unlike the codes. Refreshing maybe," she says.

Srinivasan is of the view that the film is one of the many that use warm, fuzzy stories and does not look very striking initially.

"If I look closely, some of the situations are fresh and cute. I still believe something deep rooted, possibly purposive, would be more effective, memorable and enjoyable," she says.

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