Ed­u­cat­ing the El­derly

The brand’s re­cent six TVC-out­ing ed­u­cates the se­nior lot. But the com­mu­ni­ca­tion seems to echo tunes of other play­ers in the seg­ment. An anal­y­sis.

The Brand Reporter - - FRONT PAGE - By Su­nit Roy & Abid Hus­sain Bar­laskar feed­[email protected]

Cash­ing in on the cash­less move­ment.

Master­card’s lat­est cam­paign, Cash-to-Dig­i­tal, is de­signed to get el­derly cus­tomers into the race for a dig­i­tal econ­omy, i.e. mak­ing them feel con­fi­dent about us­ing ATM/debit cards, etc. The cam­paign, a set of six TVCs, shows the learn­ing jour­ney of a se­nior ci­ti­zen (ac­tor Pankaj Ka­pur) ex­posed to the perks of us­ing plas­tic money un­der the able guid­ance of his on-screen nephew (crick­eter MS Dhoni).

The ads show­case Master­card’s var­i­ous avatars from the all-rounder pay­ment op­tion and al­ter­na­tive to loose change, to on­line pay­ment magic. By the sixth ad in the se­ries, the se­nior gen­tle­man comes out more ed­u­cated and quite adept at us­ing debit cards.

In­ter­est­ingly, all the ads end with a clos­ing mes­sage - ‘Master­card Bharat ka card. Safest way to pay’ - en­sur­ing the prom­ise of safety and se­cu­rity for con­sumers. The cam­paign will be pro­moted across tra­di­tional and so­cial me­dia plat­forms and the TVCs will be trans­lated into eight lan­guages reach­ing out to au­di­ences across 120 Tier 2 and 3 cities.

How­ever, the com­mu­ni­ca­tion is not ex­actly unique for the mar­ket seg­ment. Of late, with a host of dig­i­tal pay­ment plat­forms crop­ping up in the BFSI space, the over­all tone of brand com­mu­ni­ca­tions now seem sim­i­lar, if not the same.

Post de­mon­eti­sa­tion, brands such as Paytm, PayPal, Freecharge, and Mo­biKwik re­leased ads high­light­ing dig­i­tal pay­ment and e-wal­let ser­vices. The lat­est Master­card ads are rem­i­nis­cent of the PayPal ads that aimed at ed­u­cat­ing se­niors while still car­ry­ing forth the safety and se­cu­rity nar­ra­tive. Let’s not for­get the push for us­ing dig­i­tal in lieu of small cash by Paytm. Ear­lier this year, Master­card launched a mar­ket­ing cam­paign fea­tur­ing Ir­rfan Khan. So, why rope in MS Dhoni for the new cam­paign so soon?

afaqs!Re­porter spoke to Manasi Narasimhan, VP, Mar­ket­ing and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, South Asia, Master­card, to get the in­side story:

“In MS Dhoni, Master­card has found an­other part­ner, in ad­di­tion to Ir­rfan Khan who re­flects the drive for a less-cash In­dia. Peo­ple in In­dia re­late to cricket and Bol­ly­wood. This as­so­ci­a­tion brings the two to­gether,” says Narasimhan.

But with so many play­ers jump­ing into the fray post de­mon­eti­sa­tion, is Master­card’s mes­sage still loud and clear?

“De­mon­eti­sa­tion was a gamechanger for the pay­ment in­dus­try as it opened an ar­ray of op­por­tu­ni­ties for con­sumers and busi­nesses alike. How­ever, around 95 per cent re­tail pay­ments in In­dia are still in cash and this presents a scope for the growth of dig­i­tal pay­ments,” she re­sponds.

Why the changeover from ‘There are some things money can’t buy, for ev­ery­thing else, there’s Master­card,’ to the new tagline ‘Ky­onki Kuch Khushiyan hai Price­less’?

Narasimhan replies, “Master­card’s ‘Cash-to-Dig­i­tal’ cam­paign was con­cep­tu­alised keep­ing in mind the day-to-day shop­ping needs of In­dian con­sumers, es­pe­cially in tier 2 and 3 towns. The cam­paign re­flects the small joys which are unique to In­dia like street food, hos­pi­tal­ity for guests, etc. The TVCs high­light how these price­less joys are en­abled by Master­card, hence, the new tagline.”

One rea­son In­di­ans hes­i­tate to use dig­i­tal modes of pay­ments is se­cu­rity con­cerns. She em­pha­sises that Master­card spends heav­ily on safety: in In­dia alone it has in­vested `6,500 crore in the last five years.

Speak­ing about the util­ity of the var­i­ous ad medi­ums, Narasimhan says, “We use mass me­dia op­tions such as TV, ra­dio and print for aware­ness and be­havioural shift. We fo­cus very heav­ily on TV as it is the most con­sumed me­dia. Ra­dio has also been a key form of com­mu­ni­ca­tion to con­nect with the masses. We use Twit­ter to build thought-lead­er­ship and Face­book to en­gage con­sumers. We are con­stantly look­ing at other ways to reach out.”

The ad cam­paign has been con­cep­tu­alised by Mc­Cann World group In­dia and ex­e­cuted by Ris­ing Sun Films led by Shoo­jit Sir­car.

With re­gard to the chal­lenges of cre­at­ing the cam­paign, Pra­soon Joshi, chair­man Asia Pa­cific, CEO and chief cre­ative of­fi­cer, Mc­Cann World group In­dia, says, “In a so­ci­ety which is pre­dom­i­nantly pre­dis­posed to cash, driv­ing a habit-change cam­paign came with its own chal­lenges. The core cam­paign thought or idea is set from within the In­dian con­text and the as­pect of - could dig­i­tal money be my re­al­ity? We have at­tempted to ad­dress some of those myths shroud­ing the use of debit cards and the fo­cus was on giv­ing peo­ple a peek into the pos­si­bil­i­ties that open up with Master­card.”

“The legacy of ‘price­less’ is some­thing we were keen to re­fo­cus on and it be­ing a part of the brand DNA, we worked the cam­paign to align to the thought - with an In­dian touch. The idea was to ed­u­cate and em­power In­di­ans to adapt to a cash­less econ­omy with ease,” Joshi adds re­gard­ing the shift in Master­card’s tagline.

“We de­vel­oped a cam­paign with Ir­rfan last year to in­tro­duce peo­ple to the pos­si­bil­i­ties that open up with Master­card. This year we are tak­ing it for­ward with the Mahi (MS Dhoni) and Mama Chron­i­cles aimed at driv­ing ed­u­ca­tion around the us­age of debit cards,” Joshi says about the TG of the cam­paign.


Sau­rabh Uboweja, in­ter­na­tional brand ex­pert and CEO - Brands of De­sire, says, “Com­mu­ni­ca­tion in this cat­e­gory is bound to be re­dun­dant. It is not pos­si­ble to build dis­tinc­tive value propo­si­tions for any of the brands. It is pretty much headed the same way tele­com brands pro­mote them­selves - no clear po­si­tion, very dif­fi­cult to dif­fer­en­ti­ate, me too mes­sag­ing. The huge edge Master­card has over PayPal is the first-move ad­van­tage in In­dia, a fa­mous brand iden­tity which peo­ple still re­mem­ber and re­late to. This cam­paign builds upon that pretty well.It’s an in­tel­li­gent place­ment and one that view­ers will in­stantly recog­nise.”

San­tosh Padhi, chief cre­ative of­fi­cer and co-founder at Tap­root Dentsu, says, “One can­not help that be­ing in the cat­e­gory one has to keep re­mind­ing con­sumers what they have on board; but how you say it makes the cut above the rest. In this case, Pankaj Ka­pur and Dhoni add weight to the cam­paign. Their emo­tional base­line is one of the best ex­am­ples.” ■

“The cam­paign re­flects the small joys which are unique to In­dia like street food, hos­pi­tal­ity for guests, etc.” MANASI NARASIMHAN

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