IndusInd Bank: ‘Idiotic’ branding

One of the perils of celebrity endorsement: the brand gets lost in the clutter

So, the ‘3 Idiots’ saga in Indian advertising rages on. IndusInd Bank has gone a step further and hired one of the idiots… no fun only being inspired by the story, right? The bank has released three commercials to highlight its various services such as mobile alerts, online payments and the ‘Ready2Use Savings Account kit’. And to add some zing to the proceedings, they have high-jacked that dumb geek from ‘3 Idiots’: Chatur aka Omi Vaidya. The funny commercials feature a young couple… Vaidya and TV actor, Shruti Seth, who plays his hapless wife.
 
Basically each commercial involves Omi tormenting the missus in various ways. In one, he orders her around to be served. Like the typical MCP hubby. So she fetches him spectacles, newspaper, tea and so on. In another, he demands his food be cooked swiftly, he finds wifey to be a slow coach. And in the third, he messes up her mind asking moronic questions, exactly the way nerds do. And towards the end of each TVC, one of IndusInd’s features gets tied in with each situation.
 
Yup, the commercials are humorous. Nerdy, geeky, robotic Omi performs his role well, exactly as he did in ‘3 Idiots’. In fact, he carries the character so effortlessly, it’s almost like he simply ambled across from the film’s sets to the IndusInd ad’s sets. And as his harassed wife, Shruti Seth does a fine job too. She contrasts him well; from the very first frame you realise this partnership is headed for disaster. So humour is in-built into the commercials.
 
So can we safely assume all is well for IndusInd Bank, to use that most abused cliché? Er, not really. There’s a huge problem out here. Because of his compelling screen presence and berserk nerdy antics, Omi Vaidya totally steals the show. And whatever little space he leaves, is occupied by his harried bitter half. And the bank’s claims appear like statutory warnings towards the end of the commercials. Almost like those breathlessly read-out legally-stipulated warnings at the end of investment ads. In short, the geek manages to vampire the brand, full-on.
 
A good lesson in the perils of indulging in celebrity advertising. I would be quite surprised if in the brand recall tests, too many respondents connect IndusInd with the commercials.
 
Bottom-line: marketers need to watch out for the two extremes. It’s never a good idea to ram the brand name down viewers’ throats. Something Tata DOCOMO does, and that’s totally off-putting. And then on the other hand is IndusInd Bank. Which does great service to boost Omi Vaidya’s career, but loses out on its own branding in the process. Ergo, wonder who’s the real idiot out here? 
 

Like this story? Get our top stories by email.

User

COMMENTS

HSR

9 years ago

I entirely agree with this article. Anil Thakraney's conclusion that IndusInd is actually lost in this ad - is precisely what I felt the very first time I saw the ad and I was sure the second time. Yes, Omi is just superb.

Rajesh

9 years ago

It's a very cute campaign. Chatur is annoying, but in a very lovable way. And one can easily relate to such situations

Walking the Regulatory Tightrope

The Budget has announced the setting up of two new financial-sector watchdogs. Hopefully, they will have a clear mandate and visionary leadership

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee’s Budget speech had two interesting announcements—the setting up of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) and the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC). Five days after the...

Premium Content
Monthly Digital Access

Subscribe

Already A Subscriber?
Login
Yearly Digital Access

Subscribe

Moneylife Magazine Subscriber or MAS member?
Login

Yearly Subscriber Login

Enter the mail id that you want to use & click on Go. We will send you a link to your email for verficiation
Breaking Free

It has turned into a buyers’ market now—but on the dips

In the previous issue, I had suggested that the Union Budget would provide a direction. Indeed, it did. By the time the finance minister came to the point about widening the slabs when personal income tax gets triggered, the market shot up vertically. From a close of 16,254, pre-Budget day, the Sensex shot up to 16,669, before it gave...

Premium Content
Monthly Digital Access

Subscribe

Already A Subscriber?
Login
Yearly Digital Access

Subscribe

Moneylife Magazine Subscriber or MAS member?
Login

Yearly Subscriber Login

Enter the mail id that you want to use & click on Go. We will send you a link to your email for verficiation

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

online financial advisory
Pathbreakers
Pathbreakers 1 & Pathbreakers 2 contain deep insights, unknown facts and captivating events in the life of 51 top achievers, in their own words.
online financia advisory
The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Online Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
financial magazines online
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
financial magazines in india
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Online Magazine)