The Union Bank of India's brand campaign has been our most memorable one. We think it was the honesty of the campaign that has really stayed on and that is what has made all the difference. Around the world, advertising involving celebrities mostly talks about the celebrities themselves - their failures and triumphs, basically their stories. But while focusing on them we often miss the most important part of these stories, that is, the people who make these stories possible. This campaign was a tribute to those people.
Brief to the agency
Union Bank of India's previous brand campaign had launched the idea, Your dreams are not yours alone. The campaign did well for the brand and was deservedly celebrated. The client wanted to take the idea forward and not merely do another campaign on the same idea. Our brief was to amplify the idea, Your dreams are not yours alone.
Problems & challenges faced
The biggest challenge that we faced was that there were a lot of brands playing on the idea of 'dreams' - the idea was even being some other players in the category. However, because ours was meant to be a follow-up campaign, we couldn't go back to the drawing board and create something from scratch. We had to come up with a message that emanated from the same central thought, propagated the same philosophy, yet be distinctive.
The route chosen & why
There were some initial thoughts but they failed to excite us. The moment we came up with the idea of 'sharing success', we just knew that this was it. Then it became about finding the best way of expressing this idea. The debate on the idea was replaced by the debate on execution and craft.
One of the reasons we liked the idea was that while everyone else were talking of sharing dreams, here was an idea that shone the light on how dreams are actually fulfilled. The shift from 'sharing dreams' to 'sharing success' just felt right. It was a deserving successor to the thought Your dreams are not yours alone.
For the print and TV ads, we wanted to focus on the people who have been the strength behind some of India's most loved icons. We featured Sachin Tendulkar's brother Ajit, A.R. Rahman's mother Kareema Bi and N. R. Narayanamurthy's daughter Akshata. The ads were a celebration of the people whose sacrifices often go unnoticed. It seemed to be the perfect fit. It was true to the philosophy of the brand and yet very distinct.
We think people enjoyed the campaign because it presented a truth that everyone was familiar with but that is not often expressed. Another thing that really worked for us was that we spoke about celebrities and their journeys through the eyes of the people who have been part of it.
The campaign also helped us in creating distinct tonality and voice for the brand.
Will it work today?
Any campaign that is true and honest is relevant for a long period. Union Bank of India's campaign has truth at the core of it. It is about people sharing and believing in someone's dream and making it happen. This insight that success is a collaborative effort and may involve people you may not even see or hear about was relevant 10 years back and is relevant today also. As long as this truth remains part of our collective psyche, we think the campaign will be relevant and hence, should work.
Aman Mannan & Ashish Phatak
Group Creative Director, DDB Mudra Mumbai