One important lesson that the virus has taught us, is that life is actually full of surprises and one needs to be ready and adapt to reality, however unpleasant that may be. It has also brought in a renewed faith in the human race – for its capability to do good, for its resilience and for its potential to innovate! India is one among the few countries that has kept the health of its citizens on priority and announced the lockdown (and now the extended lockdown), keeping well in mind the economic repercussions that it could have. While the market conditions were not conducive in the pre-COVID era already, the lockdown has further worsened the equity market scenario and has dampened investor interests in mutual funds. While most fund houses have taken a hit, there is one brand that has proactively turned around the challenge into an opportunity. ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund wanted to uplift the sentiment through an offbeat positive message on the lockdown which would encourage the investors to invest. Hotstuff, their creative and advertising partners, came up with a unique idea. They created a film that complimented the spirit of Indian investors, who have adapted to the lockdown in different ways. The route was clear and the campaign was a perfect platform to extend the thought of their previous widely acclaimed campaign for ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund ‘Chal Kuch Smart Kar, SIP Start Kar’.
However the lockdown posed a challenge as no production unit could mobilize resources. As an experiment the Hotstuff creative team planned out the script breakdown and sequences in a manner that could be directed via video calls. The actors were trained to film themselves. The music and post production teams coordinated through remote work terminals to fuse things together. “A majority of the work was done in-house; since external resources were not possible in a lockdown scenario. We had already organized our operations at least a month prior to the lockdown being announced by ensuring business continuity via remote working terminals. Processes were redefined to ensure quality at the same level of output and on time. That is what enabled us to pull off this film in a record time from script to release, amidst a lockdown”, said Arun Fernandes, CEO of HotStuff when queried how such an innovative feat was pulled off in a shortest possible time.
Hotstuff, with over two decades of experience, specializing in BFSI communications, is known for its pithy MARCOM solutions and off-beat content, backed with result driven strategies for its portfolio of brands. Speaking on how advertising and marketing solutions will get impacted post COVID era, Arun further added – “A new normal is come into place and the format in which content is created will have to be relooked at. While we cannot let go off the creative principles of the past, we have to explore a new creative language for the future.” This actually resonates as world over there is a large shift in how we are managing our lives without stepping out in current times by embracing smarter ways of doing things.
The brief was succinct and clear and so was its interpretation. The lockdown gave the creative team, a chance to explore a new format of storytelling. The actors filming themselves and the realistic at-home setting brought a sense of realism to the film. Also, the story was inspired by stories heard on social media which helped the narrative to be more relatable. “A lot had to change in the way we work to get this film done. However, we realized that creative agencies have a vital role to play in situations like these. We have to adapt and become solution providers for brands that would want to stay relevant in the post-COVID era”, detailed out Terence D’Souza, Creative Director of Hotstuff.
Cueing an investment agenda into your daily lockdown routine would help the investors relate to the key message and make the most of the given situation, financially, through SIPs. Through this communication the endeavor is to highlight the benefits of digital investing and SIP as the preferred investment route in volatile market conditions.