Abid Hussain Barlaskar

What are 'Arnab' and 'ACP Pradyuman' up to in Axis Mutual Fund ads?

The brand's new campaign features popular identities from the TV world.

The latest campaign from Axis Mutual Fund is an attempt to spice up advertising in the MF space. The ad films pun on two very popular TV channel faces. One is Republic TV head Arnab Goswami and the other is the legendary ACP Pradyuman from the Sony soap opera 'CID'. The new ads have been crafted in partnership with Mirum India.

The campaign builds on the insight that despite having significant amounts of their salaries taxed annually, people still don’t start their tax-saving investments earlier. The procrastination around saving taxes is what Axis Mutual Fund addresses in the parody campaign #TaxFever.

The first film features an aggressive lookalike of Arnab grilling Karan, a 20-something salaried individual, who has yet again delayed his tax planning. The police inspector in the second film is “investigating” Mr and Mrs Malhotra – a couple who has neither done early tax planning nor factored in wealth building in their plans.

It's worth noting that only a few months back, smartphone brand Xiaomi featured a yelling Arnab-like character in an ad for its model Redmi Note 7 Pro.

It looks like brands are loosening up. The execution, as seen in these ads, used to be the domain of mainstream comedians. Standup comedians like Vishwapati Sarkar have built their careers by mimicking and punning on Arnab. Speaking of Pradyuman, the character has provided unlimited fodder for memes on the Internet.

Also, BFSI and NBFC services are big spenders when it comes to TV advertising. So, will Axis Mutual Fund run the ads on Republic TV? That would be contextual advertising on a different plane altogether.

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