DBS Bank’s Chilli Paneer Campaign: Communicating with Conversation Starters
Ken Chang (Ken) was from a Singaporean business family and was also the author of a popular food blog of which Asha Rao (Asha), an Art Director in Mumbai, was an avid follower. Connecting these two apparently disconnected characters would have been impossible for most brands, but not so for DBS Bank India (DBS India). The two characters, hailing from two different countries, meeting each other at an ATM (as though they were there for an appointment), ecstatically recounting their mutual admiration through the food blog, deciding to go on an elaborate culinary tour in Mumbai (Asha as the guide), making important decisions through the journey (that would alter their destinies), falling in love and setting up a thriving restaurant business with help from DBS India…seems nothing less than a Bollywood plot.
Taking a cue from an analysis of conversation starters amongst Indian consumers, DBS India launched an online film and followed it up with India’s first interactive film in BFSI space to engage with the target customers. The analysis threw up a few interesting conversation starters including food. While the interactive film gained traction, many wonder if this could be the right medium, right content, right frequency for engaging the target audience, given DBS India’s business interests in personal banking, wealth management and business banking.
DBS India: A Limited Presence – Maximum Impact
DBS was one of the leading financial services groups in Asia, having more than 250 branches across 17 countries. Having its head office and being listed in Singapore, DBS was present in three important Asian growth centers: Greater China, Southeast Asia (Singapore and Indonesia) and South Asia (India).1 DBS India functioned through a network of 12 branches across India and offered personal banking, wealth management and business banking services.2
DBS India launched an online film in September 2014. The objective was to demonstrate how banking and help in arriving at financial decisions was easily accessible. DBS Bank India also wanted to communicate the fact that, being an Asian Bank, it was keen on not just offering banking products but in being very much a part of consumers’ financial decisions.3 Chilli Paneer was about Ken and Asha. Ken, besides managing his family business, was a food blogger..................
1 ““Chilli Paneer” – DBS Bank Breaks Clutter of BFSI Advertising Campaigns”, http://businesswireindia.com/news/news-details/chilli-paneer-dbs-bank-breaks-clutter-bfsi-advertisingcampaigns/40577, September 5th 2014, (accessed date: January 16th 2014)
2 https://www.dbs.com/in/index/default.page, (accessed date: January 16th 2014)
3 Aditya Bhatkal, “DBS Bank India Narrates A Modern Day Story Via Chilli Paneer Film To Keep Social Media Fans Hooked”, http://www.socialsamosa.com/2015/01/dbs-bank-indianarrates-modern-day-story-via-chilli-paneer-film-keep-socialmedia-fans-hooked/, January 30th 2015 (accessed date: April 2nd 2015)