Debrief: IndusInd Bank: Offbeat approach works

20 Jun,2013

By Anil Thakraney


Intriguing offer from IndusInd Bank. Their new ad is based on just one promise: We will offer you the account number you desire. Bollywood’s character actor Sharman Joshi has been hired to do the honours.


Joshi is stuck on the number 30, because he considers it to be his lucky number. The ad tries to make this funny, as Joshi is pleased when his son scores only 30 percent marks in the exams. He desperately tries to fit into a trouser that’s size 30 inches. And so on.


Must say I was a bit flummoxed when I first saw the ad. IndusInd Bank isn’t offering efficient service or higher interest rate or expert advice. They are offering an account number, which is the least of my concerns. Later I gave it a thought and felt they might be doing the right thing. Because all other banks make the expected promises, this bank is appealing only to the superstitious in us. And when you think about it, it makes sense because India is a nation of many superstitions, and ‘lucky number’ tops that list. The fact that so many people pay through their noses to get hold of the ‘right’ number for their vehicle is a clear indication of that. Full marks to IndusInd Bank for thinking out of the box.


However, the below average execution doesn’t do justice to the unusual promise. The treatment is laid-back, the jingle is boring and the humour quotient is low. They could have conceived totally hilarious situations with the crazy obsession people have with numbers, and perhaps many short ads was the answer. And Joshi, instead of adding value, dilutes the overall impact. They didn’t need a celeb at all, the innovative offer is the real star! And that’s the only celeb the ad needed.


Rating: (On a scale of 1-5): 3. Refreshing promise. But execution gets only 30/100. 🙂


Anil Thakraney is a senior journalist and commentator. He is also Editor-at-Large, MxMIndia. The views of the writer are his own. He can be reached via Twitter at @anilthakraney


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