The payment network company has launched two commercials since becoming the official partner of BCCI for the Indian Premier League.
National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) kick started its IPL campaigning earlier this month. The umbrella company for all retail payment systems in India, aims to promote its credit card offerings through a dedicated IPL campaign ‘RuPay Credit Card on UPI’.
The objective of the campaign, according to the payment network, is to focus on creating customer awareness about NPCI’s RuPay credit cards that allow users to make payments through UPI platform.
Conceptualised by DDB Mudra Group, the campaign includes four ad films, two of which have already been launched amidst the ongoing high-octane Tata IPL. The first ad film to air featured cricketer Dinesh Karthik, highlighting the benefits of RuPay credit card linkage on UPI.
The spot shows an aesthete browsing through an art gallery where he accidentally displaces an art piece, sparking a full blown domino effect. The man, while holding on to as many art pieces as he possibly can, is then provided with paid catching services by Karthik to save the falling vase.
The second ad film sees a woman assist a man stuck neck deep in a quagmire. As he battles his way out of the swamp, she approaches a lone passerby for a hand. But the charges, can only be paid through UPI.
Interestingly, both the ad films simplify, and demonstrate the usage of RuPay credit cards with UPI in a fairly unusual way, that is, when put in contrast with the conventional advertising that we have come to expect of fintech brands.
During last year’s IPL, RuPay ran its ‘Be On-The-Go’ campaign featuring Indian bowler Ishant Sharma. The ad film, also created by DDB Mudra Group, demonstrated multiple use cases for RuPay through contactless, e-commerce, and international transactions.
Rahul Mathew, chief creative officer, DDB Mudra Group, says that the creative for this year's campaign is a continuation of the same humour tonality from last year. “We wanted to build on the tonality of humour that has worked for the brand in the past. We also wanted to make sure that the message is simple, and entertaining.”
“The brief from the brand was simple, to position RuPay’s credit card as the only card that can be used on UPI. So, from there we wanted to figure out the most entertaining way to present it.”
The first ad film contains an element of comical clumsiness to it, obviously contingent on the characters and their performances. A lot of the time, especially when the commercials feature celebrities who aren’t from acting backgrounds, the challenge is to bring out the required performance from the participants.
The focus should be on how celebrities are used, and how relevant they are. Is the ambassador only used as a mouthpiece or does it elevate the communication? It really comes down to writing the proper script.
Mathew suggests that this is always taken into consideration while drafting the script, so as to not make an ad dependent on the celebs, but rather on the story.
“The key is to put the script first and celebrities later. When you are clear about what the person represents, the process becomes easier. For the first film, we had already written for the vase to fall into the hands of someone who could catch it efficiently. That suits Karthik and his background very well.”
The recall value of the ad films is not attributed to any celebrity, but rather the communication, scripting and the presentation.
Having previously chosen Ishant Sharma, and now Dinesh Karthik, as the faces of RuPay campaigns, one may wonder if Cricketers showing up on ad screens is the go-to formula for brands during sporting events such as IPL. Mathew points out that the recall for any campaigns isn’t necessarily about the choice of celebrities, but rather the creativity of the work.
“In both of our campaigns, we started off with our scripts and then figured out the kind of celebrities that would lift the films, and would do the most justice to the role. The recall value of the ad films is not attributed to any celebrity, but rather the communication, scripting and the presentation.”
There is a growing trend of brands onboarding cricketers for their marketing campaigns to feed off of topicality of sporting events such as IPL, World Cup, Champions Trophy, among others. The aim appears to be to stay relevant and visible during the popular spectacles.
However, Mathew believes that the key for any campaign to succeed is to make the best use of the celebs, insteading of showcasing them as mere mouthpieces. “The focus should be on how celebrities are used, and how relevant they are. Is the ambassador only used as a mouthpiece or does it elevate the communication? It really comes down to writing the proper script,” he says.