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How quirky campaigns are getting the message right in the BFSI sector

Authored by Arun Fernades – CEO – Hotstuff.

BFSI campaigns always come attached with the responsibility to inform & educate, which leaves little room for creativity and spark. Therefore, they have been always perceived as dull & monotonous. The Insurance sector nevertheless, were the first ones to bring in the emotional hook. It was a palpable fear-based emotional hook that all copied, with the lead being taken by LIC. As far as the rest of the Banking and Financial Products & Services sector is concerned, it was all about – returns on investments, tax saving calculations, growth of income and complex decoding of measurable performance which sounds actually boring. Though there has been much attempt in trying to get the chemistry right in creating a brand impact on a consumer/user mind, there is much to achieve. Having said, off-late the sector has been turning a new leaf. With new age media taking predominance and competition heating up with a market place that is fluid, fleeting, yet highly regulated and confined to a window, BFSI brands are now being pushed up their ante and come up with interesting ways to engage with their users & potential users, with sustained stickiness, thereby creating brand loyalty.

Despite the perceived trappings of being dull & monotonous, it was this very BFSI sector, that was one of the earliest entrants to leverage digital medium to connect with consumers by providing online insurance & banking services and thereby having the lead in gauging shifting consumer behavior. The BFSI sector today, is the second largest contributor in digital advertising & marketing spends. An estimation of INR 2000 crores in ad spends, with sector expenses on digital platforms to grow at a rate of 8%-10% is envisaged. While the primary focus would be hybridization of their services, followed by product development & improving the convenience for the user, a substantial amount is expected to be diverted in investor education. And this investor education needs to happen in an interesting and engaging manner. In most recent times, the sector has experimented with creative, innovative and quirky ads that would catch investor fancy through impactful content and story-telling.

Having said, the most challenging task is to break down realms of information into pithy, digestible, easy-to-understand, highly engaging sound-bites. The effectiveness of the communication depends on making a low involvement product category into an attractive one by choosing the right media. While TV has its restrictions in two-way communications, it is not so with the digital media platforms and BFSI ads works best in two-way communications, since they need to focus on individual needs – not confined to just end users but also the influencer intermediaries. A startling example of the same has been ICICI Prudential’s SIP-hop campaign, which beautifully integrates the desi-hop genre to educate the customer about SIPs. Another example of a quirky campaign that comes to mind is Star Union Dai-ichi Life Insurance (SUD Life)’s “Roti Kapda Makaan aur Bima hai Zaroori” campaign that creatively used the Bollywood 70s in a retro theme or for that matter a focused investor education called “Sam Ki Samsya” by IDFC MF developed into an innovative e-learning simulation.

The BFSI sector is fast adapting to the changing needs of the market and have embraced digitization which has been further accelerated by the pandemic. This potential change brought forward by COVID 19 is here to stay and the ways & methods adopted to create interesting and engaging communications with customers would go a long way in boosting profitability & returns in this sector.

 DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and does not necessarily subscribe to it. 



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