How CRED’s IPL campaign yielded 6-7x increase in their daily sign-ups

Industry observers contend that it's the tongue-in-cheek advertising approach that has helped the IPL campaign tick

e4m by Misbaah Mansuri
Updated: Oct 8, 2020 9:29 AM

Credit card payment platform CRED, which is an official partner of Dream11 IPL, seems to have ticked all the right boxes in terms of its IPL advertising debut. The ads starring iconic celebrities from the 90s are being hailed on social media as one of the best ads of an otherwise tepid IPL season in terms of advertising. The financial services startup was trending on Twitter for its campaign.

In 2019, the app released a three-minute ad featuring actor Jim Sarbh, who pitched CRED as a smooth alternative to the hassle-filled credit statements and all those hidden charges. The app’s description read, “Makes one wonder if it's worth it, doesn't it?”

The latest ads show actors Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit, and veteran musician Bappi Lahiri appearing for an audition for this very campaign, and not making the cut. One of the jurors eventually suggests they keep it simple and go with a voiceover for the ad that says, 'Download CRED.'

The company has registered six to seven times increase in daily sign-ups after the company released its IPL campaign. Shailendra J Singh, Managing Director at Sequoia Capital, who is the investment advisor with the payment app, tweeted about the feat. CRED had raised Rs 27.55 crore from Sequoia Capital India in 2019.

‘Pitch’ perfect?

The campaign has been conceptualised entirely by the in-house team and brought to life by Ayappa KM, Co-founder, Early Man Films production agency and content creator Tanmay Bhat of AIB fame, who worked on it along with his former AIB colleagues Puneet Chadha, Nupur Pai, and Devaiah Bopanna.

Ankur Garg, Sr. Creative Director & AVP, Dentsu Impact, contends that if the entire objective of the campaign was to get noticed in the cluttered chaos of IPL communications, then they've hit the bullseye. Garg likes the multiple layers of bizarreness that these ads carry.

“Firstly, for some unexplainable reason, we see these Bollywood icons auditioning to be featured in CRED’s ads. On top of that, these actors/composers are performing using their own wits and imagination with no instructions or script. The last and final layer is the annoyance and sheer shock of the people making the ad captured very well in the punchline 'Let's just do a simple voiceover'."

"All these layers put together raises the immediate curiosity of ‘what the heck is going on here?’ The one featuring Bappi Da is hysterical and is much more natural than the other two. This campaign reminds me of the simpler time of 90s Hindi cinema when the takeaway was entertainment, laughter and humour without much thought. To me, the message of encouraging financial literacy, the ease of managing credit card payments and educating viewers on the rewarding benefits of good financial behaviour is being delivered in an entertainment and fresh manner,” he exclaims.

Jagdish Acharya, Founder-Creative Head, Cut The Crap, feels that it's an enjoyable and charming campaign. “Good casting - other than celebrities- and a tight script. Madhuri spot is the weakest, the other two do all the scoring,” Acharya asserts.

CRED managed to strike a three-season IPL deal this year that will run through the 2022 season of the property.

Arpan Jain, Executive Creative Director, Geometry Encompass says that the campaign certainly brings a smile to ones face.
“It’s refreshing when celebrities let brands make fun of them, it really shows you their lighter side. I have seen all the ads and it’s difficult to compare them, as they all share the same premise. One thing that has always distinguished Madhuri from her peers is her grace and charisma, and she's brought this magic to the commercial with her dance moves. It looks like she has really enjoyed shooting this and it’s very evident from her expressions. Her dejection after facing rejection towards the end was the icing on the cake,” he observes.

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