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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Bank of India

Bank of India: "Rishton ki jamapunji-Relationships beyond banking."
Headline: How long does it take to know someone?Is a day enough?A fortnight, perhaps? A decade?There really are no rules in a relationship.Sometimes it can take a lifetime.Sometimes all it takes is a glance.Subhead: We understand relationships. Which is why, we're ensuring that our relationship with you will always stay special.

Looking at the spectrum of advertisements by banks, the ICICI Bank ad shows Shah Rukh Khan, going around the world, with the tagline saying “ICICI: The global choice of the global Indian”. HSBC stresses on the fact that they understand local cultures well by saying “Different points of view are welcome here. HSBC. The world’s local bank”. ABN AMRO focuses on their ability to understand customer needs by saying “Every day personal bankers from ABN AMRO change the way people think about what to expect from a bank”. IDBI bank ad talks about fulfilling people’s dreams by saying “Hum denge aapki aashaon ko oonchi udaan. IDBI Bank. Aao sochein bada!”. The fulfilling dreams approach is also shown by banks such as Deutsche Bank (We will help you fulfill your dreams. Deutsche Bank. A passion to perform) and Standard Chartered (Everyday, across the globe, Standard Chartered helps people realize their dreams. Believe in something, and we'll believe in you). Punjab National Bank plays on the trust factor by showing a girl putting her money in their bank, instead of her piggy bank. Their tagline says “Punjab National Bank. The name you can bank upon!”. SBI in its Surprisingly SBI campaign reveals facts about SBI, which usually people do not associate with it, like it having the maximum no of ATM’s in the country or it giving personal loans without any security.

Amidst this clutter, what should be Bank of India’s strategy? The Bank of India is a nationalized bank counted among the top commercial banks in the country. The bank boasts of a 100 year old history and long associations with millions of stakeholders. The strategy which they decide is based on this fact. Their new campaign is titled "Relationship beyond Banking". It has been implemented through a series of print and TV commercials. One of the TV commercials depicts a person who is a bank employee looking for a person named Shastri ji. Shastri ji has a pension account with the bank, and today is the date on which his pension comes. For some reason Shastri ji had not reported to the bank on that day to collect his pension. In the commercial, the person looking for Shastri ji thinks “itne saalon mein pehli baar hua ki woh ek tareek ko nahin aaye. Pichhli baar... ...tabiyat bhi kuch theek nahin thi...”. The employee is worried about Shastri ji’s health because he thinks maybe that is the reason for his absence. The tension turns to relief when Shastri ji is finally found, on the terrace of his house flying kites with kids. The ad then finally shows both of them sharing a laugh and agreeing to have a cup of tea. In the background, the voice over says, “hum jaante hain ki bank mein sirf paise jama nahin hote. Bank of India. Rishton ki jamapoonji.”

This campaign moves away from describing products features(SBI) or playing on the fulfilling dreams line(IDBI, Stan Chart, Deutsche).It seeks to provide an emotional connect with the audience by focusing on the fact that for many in India, a bank is more than a place from where you take a loan or deposit your savings. It’s like a long-term relationship. In fact their print ads say, “We understand relationships. Which is why, we're ensuring that our relationship with you will always stay special. Relationships beyond banking”. This ad more than anything re-enforces in the mind of its customers the image of a bank which is caring and compassionate towards its customers. Is gives them a reason to continue their relationship which the Bank of India, over switching to one of the newer banks. Well, for a bank or for that matter any company, the relationships it has with its consumers is its biggest strength. In other words, the “Rishton ki jamapunji” is its biggest asset.