Axis Mutual Fund plays the responsibility card

The Womb conceptualised a campaign which aims to position Axis Mutual Fund as ‘the responsible mutual fund’

e4m by Misbaah Mansuri
Updated: Aug 28, 2018 8:54 AM

A fast-forwarded disclaimer tone was the first recall whenever we heard the words ‘mutual funds.’ “Mutual funds are subject to market risk, please read the offer document carefully, before investing,” it said. For quite a while, mutual-fund advertising in India typically devoted a greater area to statutory warnings than cigarette or even liquor advertising. While there have been improvements, it's still rare to come across a mutual fund ad which is done so well that it would convince someone with limited resources to invest into it.

After a long strategic exercise to unearth Axis Mutual Fund’s core, The Womb has launched a campaign which aims to position Axis Mutual Fund as ‘the responsible mutual fund’. The ad campaign broke with a massive internal program and extends through TV and outdoor, and will culminate with a sustained distributor campaign.

The film portrays how Bijoyda, an experienced jungle tourist guide accompanying a family entering the wild, which is fraught with dangers, owing to the possible presence of man eating tigers around, which have a tendency to attack from behind. Bijoyda is aware of inherent pitfalls and perils while having joyful ride in the forests, and he knows how this risk is to be managed as we see each family member donning human masks on the back of their heads (given by Bijoyda), as he knows the tigers don’t attack if the person is looking at them in the eye, and hence the possibility of tigers attacking is nullified. It portrays that an experienced fund house in Axis Mutual Fund too, like Bijoyda, is fully equipped to understand the risks and manage them.


exchange4media got in touch with Navin Talreja – Founder – The Womb, Rohan Padhye – VP Marketing – Axis Mutual Fund and Co-Founder, Ad-film director, Chrome Pictures, Amit Sharma, to know what went into the making of this campaign.

Talreja shared that the task was to build preference for the brand amongst investors and distributors. “We always try to get away from the category codes of communication, and it is no different in our new work for Axis Mutual Fund. Using the jungle as a metaphor for the stock market, we’ve strung together a series of mini-metaphors- its beauty as the returns, the drops and the slips as the tiger, and of Bijoyda as the brand who lets people enjoy without letting them ever feel they are in any sort of danger. For us that is responsibility,” he said.

Padhye shared that after multiple brainstorming sessions with The Womb, the brand concluded that they need to create a brand campaign by articulating their philosophy in the context of where the category stands today and what investors expect from a mutual fund company versus other ways of building preference for the brand. “The Womb’s research with consumers suggested that while people consider MF investments for better returns than traditional investment avenues, at the same time, the association with risk is a deep rooted one. In such circumstances, consumers need assurance, not of high returns, but of care and concern for their hard earned money which is invested,” he reasoned. He revealed that the brand plans to amplify the campaign on TV and Outdoor, while the digital medium will be used selectively to reach the target audience.

Sharma spoke about the multiple challenges the team had to face behind-the-scenes as each shoot location was split across and only accessible by water. “One challenge was there were no dialogues, yet we had to bring out various emotions like fun, fear, safety, happiness and link it all with Axis Mutual Funds. And the next was to shoot this film in the wrong time of the year i.e. monsoons. We scouted through all the mangroves in the world. One wrong weather day and you won’t get out alive. That is the risk we were taking and we still went ahead,” he said.


Worth the risk?

Megha Jain Sadhwani, Senior Vice President, Dentsu Impact finds the ad refreshing – visually as well as thought wise. “The ad is completely not what you expect in this category, and that’s what makes it stand out. The beautiful location and breath-taking shots help in keeping you engaged until the end. Even from a message perspective, I would say it’s a good approach to take the plank of ‘responsibility’ in a category laden with fears linked to the risk involved. It’s about giving a sense of security to the consumer, like saying – ‘we’ve got your back’. So overall, I would say it’s a good strategy combined with great execution that you see here,” opines Sadhwani.

Mithun Mukherjee, Associate Creative Director, Grapes Digital, feels that the entire mutual funds category, after suddenly waking up from its rather long slumber, has managed to catch the entire country’s imagination. He is of the opinion that the ad does get a strong grip of your senses like good wine and leaves a nice aftertaste. “The cinematography of the ad is quite something. With the entire BFSI category ads being built around drawing rooms and kitchens and lots of smiling faces, this ad definitely comes as a breath of fresh air. The verdant jungles of what looks like the Sunderbans, serve as a rather climactic backdrop for the story. How well the story connects back to the mutual funds conversation is what showcases the efficacy of the campaign," observes Mukherjee.

Says Deepak Singh-Chief Creative Officer, The Social Street, “I really like the commercial, I think it is beautifully shot and has a very good insight to it - that life is uncertain and misfortune can hit us at any point of time, hence we must be prepared. The way they portray this simple thought and the whole situation shown in the commercial, is what makes it very effective for me.”

Singh points out that the casting and music are spot-on. ”I think this commercial will certainly register in everyone’s mind and would completely serve the purpose of making the brand stand out of the clutter,” he says. Shrenik Gandhi, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, White Rivers Media notices that the brand has been doing a lot of interesting ads, but this one steals the show. "Ideally, a series of such ads would add to the brand recall, one in isolation shall be faded off the memory,” he says. Gandhi says that it is a risky call for a brand to showcase the brand name only in the last few seconds but it clearly worked for Axis Mutual Fund.

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