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Ad Review: Bandhan Bank’s New Commercials Tug At The Emotional Chord

Ushnota Paul, November 6, 2017

A dash of emotion and a dash of hope… and you get the ideal recipe for a banking advertisement

Bandhan Bank has come up with two brand new commercials, one for home loans and one for business loans, created by Ogilvy Kolkata. Headquartered in Kolkata, Bandhan Bank has already made a name for itself in the eastern part of the country, ever since it got its banking license from the Reserve Bank of India in 2014. It’s not easy to stand out in India that already has a lot of private banks offering you everything that you need – from personalised representatives, credit cards to easy loans. So, Bandhan Bank has taken the route of offering loans, but with a dollop of sentiment on top, in their latest TVCs.

The film on home loans starts with a bunch of people singing and having fun at a house party. The time is 9:30pm. The bell rings. The landlord and his wife complain of noise and inform that it’s their bedtime. The smiles of the young couple who are their tenants, fade, as they quickly apologise. Another sequence shows the same young woman coming up to the terrace with a bucket of washed clothes but she realises there’s no place left to hang the clothes. In the end, the couple and their young daughter come back home late and stand outside the locked gate that reads ‘TENANTS PARK OUTSIDE’, waiting for someone to open the lock. But the light in the window quickly switches off as they keep waiting helplessly. The next scene shows the couple signing forms for a home loan, because ‘Bandhan Bank offers home loans starting from Rs 3 lakhs’. “Aakhir ghar ko apna keh pane mein intezaar kabtak karoge?” goes the voiceover. It’s a neat and clean ad that brings to life the compromises tenants need to make to comply with the rules laid down by their landlords. It urges people to live on their own terms. And if money is a constraint? Well, that’s where Bandhan Bank comes in.

The film on business loans shows a woman shopping for sarees in a boutique. She chooses a pretty jamdaani saree and admires her reflection in the mirror, casually wrapping it around her. Then she looks down at the price and the smile wanes a little. She tells the persistent salesman that it’s out of her budget. When she’s at the counter to pay for the saree that’s within her budget, it turns out that the customer is a Bandhan Bank employee who had sanctioned the loan for the owner to set up the boutique. The owner happily gifts her the saree saying when she started off the boutique two years back, it was out of her budget too. The core idea that Bandhan Bank doesn’t just provide a loan, it also invests in the customer’s dream and helps it come to life, comes across well in this advertisement. Especially with their tag line in the end, “Hum sirf loan nahi dete hai, aapke kabiliyat mein invest karte hai,” Bandhan Bank has managed to create a soulful ad that also gets the point across.

Personally, I liked the business loan TVC more because it got to the point without manipulating the viewer’s emotions too much. The home loan commercial harps a bit too much on the trials and tribulations of a tenant and goes a tad melodramatic. But overall, both the ads get the core point across in a crisp yet sentimental manner – live life according to your own terms. And if you need a little push to pursue it, Bandhan Bank is there to give you that nudge.