Devesh Gupta

L&T Financial Services: Financing happiness

The brand has recently launched a film set in rural India that attempts to capture the sentiment associated with a farmer's first tractor purchase. The effort is to position the brand as a non-banking financial company.

Ask any farmer what buying his first tractor was like and you will bear witness to unadulterated joy and satisfaction. Capturing this very sentiment, L&T Financial Services' latest television commercial promotes the brand as a non-banking financial company.

L&T Financial Services: Financing happiness
The TVC presents a rural set up where a farmer buys his first tractor and his entire family feels good about it. He takes his children to school on it and then goes to farm with his wife. The film showcases how the farmer has fulfilled his father's dream of buying the tractor and replaced cattle, giving them some much needed respite, or 'retirement', as the VO (voice over) in the ad calls it. The commercial ends with a jingle, 'Khankengi Khushiyaan', positioning the company as a one-stop solution financial needs.

The idea is based on a simple but universal consumer insight that money is the functional means to an emotional end. Further, the ad highlights another simple human insight: the happiness that comes with anything new is not limited to the person who buys it.

In the ad, though the man of the house buys the tractor, the happiness is strongly felt by everyone in the family, including his domestic help, neighbours, relatives and friends. The idea, therefore, is: L&T not only finances material things but also 'finances happiness'.

Speaking on the idea behind the campaign, the L&T Financial Services spokesperson says , "India knows L&T as its engineer and doesn't expect to see it in the finance space. Consumers are largely unaware of L&T's finance business as a non-banking financial company. And so, the advertising task is to firmly place L&T Financial Services in the daily lives of consumers and to create awareness about the business group at L&T that answers different customer needs with a comprehensive range of financial products and services."

The recent tractor commercial is the latest in the series. It was released after the ad that showcased the joy of a family that buys its first car.

The brand team says, "The goal of L&T Financial Services is to service comprehensive customer needs under one roof. Our product commercials are centred on three of our businesses, namely, farm equipment financing, auto financing and mutual funds."

Created by Ogilvy India, the campaign targets the country's middle class segment that is forward thinking and open to new ideas and new ways.

Apart from the TVC, the campaign is spread across print media and outdoor ads, along with promotions on the internet. The company is also using the BTL (below the line) route to promote its brand and products. Plans to add more touch-points are on the cards.

Happily enough?

afaqs! spoke to a few industry experts to gauge whether the campaign manages to connect with the audience.

L&T Financial Services: Financing happiness
L&T Financial Services: Financing happiness
, managing partner, White Canvas, says, "The ad is nicely done and the insight is good. People will remember the ad but whether they will remember the brand or not is doubtful."

Jacob, however, adds that in order to promote farm financing equipment, most financial segments would have chosen the same route as India is an agrarian economy, and the tractor is what comes to mind fastest when one thinks of rural reach.

Suraja Kishore, national planning director, Publicis, says, "The thought 'Khankengi Khushiyaan' has been rendered well in the creative and its execution is quite engaging. Strategically, though, the brand should have taken a distinct position as the entire financial category is cluttered with promises of enabling dreams and happiness."

He adds that the creative could also have focussed on why L&T is entering consumer finance now, and what is the company's vision and mission.

L&T Financial Services: Financing happiness

Kishore explains, and adds, "Large brands like L&T need a large visionary statement to champion as a consumer expects more from it and the generic promise of happiness falls short."

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