Biprorshee Das

The big and right things about Religare Broking

Following up on its recent corporate campaign, Religare Enterprises has begun its product-specific communication with Religare Broking; two television commercials, created by Scarecrow Communications, are currently on-air.

Soon after an umbrella campaign that spoke about various services, financial services group Religare Enterprises has begun with communication that is more product-specific. The first of such campaigns is for Religare Broking.

With an intention to convey the broking house's size and scale, a campaign led by television has been broken, which, much like the corporate commercial, does not delve into the technical aspects of the business. Instead, the communication is kept light-hearted and simple for wider appeal.

The big and right things about Religare Broking
The big and right things about Religare Broking
A set of two television commercials has been created by Scarecrow Communications, one focusing on the size of Religare Broking, and the other stating that the broking house is the right channel among its peers. The message is that one must always choose the right vehicle even while "riding the stock market". Both films have a rustic, rural setting.

Both films -- the humorous treatment notwithstanding -- also work on a subliminal level, talking about achieving targets and meeting results. The TVCs have been directed by Gajraj Rao and produced by Subrat Ray of Code Red Films.

Talking to afaqs!, Subhrangshu Neogi, director, brand and communications, Religare Enterprises says, "We were looking to create a clutter-breaking, refreshing and humorous campaign that would effectively communicate our size and scale. Both (TV commercials) drive credibility of a business, and we thought the approach was fitting to drive home the desired message."

The big and right things about Religare Broking
The big and right things about Religare Broking
The big and right things about Religare Broking
"All kinds of people invest in the market. Hence, our communication had to be mass enough. The brief was simple and yet challenging, because we are speaking to people who are already investors, know the sector and sometimes think advertising in this category is an indulgence," explains Manish Bhatt, founder director, Scarecrow Communications.

He adds, "The communication had to be inertia shaking. We are also talking to new and potential investors, for whom the message has to be simple and entertaining, which can be enjoyed on repeat viewing."

The core thought of using two different propositions is to cater to two specific audiences -- one that goes with the basic notion of working with leaders in the market; and the other that is defensive in its strategy, thereby being particular about the right channel.

Sharing anecdotes and challenges while shooting the films, Raghu Bhat, founder director, Scarecrow Communications says that one of the films -- in which tribal people gather to watch a display of archery skills by a member of their tribe -- was shot in a royal burial ground. Moreover, the script demanded a celebration in the end, when the archer achieves his goal. But most people in the film were local natives, who refused to celebrate on such holy ground.

On the second film -- where a bridegroom and his companions are sitting in a dilapidated car that has octagonal wheels -- he says that the initial decision was to use a hexagonal wheel. Interestingly, Bhat adds that the client plans to use the car as an exhibit at its office.

The television medium will be supported by promotions in cinema, which Religare finds its target group to have a strong affinity towards. Select print and tactical online activities will also be utilised. Scarecrow has also been responsible for designing extensive work in print. The media duties are handled by Lintas Media Group.

Sizeable thoughts

The films have met with mixed responses. Experts have a kind word for the execution and the different route that has been chosen.

The big and right things about Religare Broking
The big and right things about Religare Broking
"At the outset, these are very well-made ads. The production is great; brings out nuances very well and the films are a treat to watch. It is a very interesting take on the category and a good lateral interpretation," says Saji Abraham, vice-president, planning, Lowe Lintas Mumbai.

Ryan Menezes, executive creative director, McCann Erickson Mumbai has a similar opinion, as he finds the execution to be great and the films "well-shot and directed".

However, apprehensions remain.

"Each ad makes a single point, which is good. But they try too hard to be funny, and end up being weird. The creative thought is very basic. 'Big is better than small' and 'Don't use the wrong vehicle' are generic claims that could be applied to practically anyone in this category," says Menezes.

"The communication, let us just say, is different for the category, but similar to umpteen commercials on TV, which use (and misuse) hinterland humour," he adds.

An important point that Abraham makes is that the brand appears in the end and runs the risk of being missed out. "This is always the problem with analogy films, but nothing that some repeated viewing cannot tackle," he says.

According to Abraham, the different propositions are a problem. "It would have been better to take one property ('big' or 'the right vehicle') or attribute they wanted to build, and then use multiple renditions to build it. This way, they would be able to tackle the brand recall issue as well. Among the two, 'big' would be the better value to take, as that gives it a feeling of solidity and expertise, which is crucial for the investing public," he suggests.

Menezes, too, finds the positioning vague. He is of the view that the archery film might be recalled for its strangeness, but not for the brand Religare.