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Reviewer: Ashish Khazanchi

The managing partner at advertising agency Enormous, Ashish Khazanchi has spent close to two decades in advertising. He was previously vice-chairman and national creative director at Publicis Ambience. Khazanchi has worked on direct-to-home television services provider Tata Sky’s Isko Laga Dala TohLife Jhingalala ad and the DNA newspaper’s launch campaign in Mumbai.

Campaign

IDBI Bank’s latest campaign by Ogilvy & Mather attempts to convey how well IDBI takes care of its customers, like true friends. The four new ad films in this campaign fuse the innocence of childhood bonds with the promise of friendship and symbolize the role the bank plays in its customers’ lives. Each film shows two children, with one of them telling us why the other one is his or her best friend. Each depicts a charming moment from a child’s world. The soul of the films is in what the children say, and their disarming reasons for considering someone a friend. The tag line: Bank aisa dost jaisa (A bank that is like a friend).

Your first thoughts on the ad?

The ad definitely does stand out, just like most of the ads from IDBI banking. It has charm in oodles and is well written.

What would you have done differently?

The only thing that rankles for me a little bit in the execution of this ad is the last shot of the film, which in a strange way reminds me of the Petronas anti-race films by the late Yasmin Ahmad.

Does the analogy of friendship work well for a customer-banker relationship?

Advertising can only favourably predispose people towards a particular brand. It is certainly not the job of mass media advertising to be a product pamphlet and drive consumers to untimely death by boredom. Having said that, I am wondering if the promise of “friendship" has been seen too often in too many campaigns, to now be differentiated enough to build consumer preference.

Your comment on the performances.

The child’s performance is the soul of the film and it wouldn’t have been the same with a typical advertising, cookie-cutter kind of casting.

Any international or domestic ads in the banking category that stand out for you?

Of the recent campaigns in the financial services category, I really loved the Thai Life Insurance commercial titled Unsung Hero. The promise of goodness is woven together with an astounding sense of sincerity and belief. It unfolds almost like a fable and makes you believe in the goodness of intent of not just the protagonist but, by association, of the advertiser as well.

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