The financial sector, known for its tightly-knotted communication, needs a major overhaul, say executives at One September, a 16-month-old advertising agency.
“Financial dialogue tends to be needlessly complicated most often,” says Aarish Matcheswalla, one of the four co-founders at the agency. He added, “When I am handed a finance brochure, I tend to skip to the last page directly and read the final two lines. We knew there was a need to make these conversations more relatable and more importantly, interesting.”
Having worked with companies like Axis Mutual Fund and Max Life Insurance, One September has got a keen insight into how consumers reacted to everyday communication. “Consumers are regular people like you and me. If you drown them with technicalities and jargon, they will tune out faster than you think. Even though the messaging may be important for them, it needs to present itself in a relevant and engaging context for it to be memorable,” Matcheswalla said.
One such example is the recent collaboration between One September and Agency Digi on a social experiment video carried out for Axis Mutual Fund. The video features a character called ‘The Taxman’ forcibly taking a bite out of unsuspecting people’s lunches in a busy cafeteria. The video has received positive reviews and has over 400,000 hits on YouTube.
Even in the print format, One September says they are changing the ‘arithmetic’ appearance of financial communication. “Data need not always just be numbers and charts,” says Matcheswalla. “We have translated pages of dull and boring numbers into interesting illustrations and info-graphics for our clients. We can see a stark difference in how the consumer reacts to it now.” Brand participation also plays a huge role in the final output, he says. “We have been lucky to work with clients who have been willing to try something new and unconventional.”
So, is there something like the ‘Harlem Shake’ waiting to happen sometime in the financial sector in the near future? “Why not? We are always looking to do something fun here. However, you can’t be weird just for the sake of it. Whatever you do needs to have a strong, finite connect to the brand and its core messaging,” he said.
In just over a year, One September has worked with companies such as MTV, Red Chillies Entertainment and The Juice by Jabong.