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Contract breaks free stereotypes with ABN gold card commercial

02-August-2004
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Contract breaks free stereotypes with ABN gold card commercial

The latest ABN AMRO Gold Card has been planned to attract consumers with an easy-to-redeem feature, which enables the user to redeem his air miles to any airways and to any destination – within the domestic territory or abroad. A TV commercial is already on air conveying the message through a spoof. Interestingly, for Contract – maker of the telly commercial, this might be the last work for the bank as the Dutch financial institution is understood to invite a multi-agency pitch soon.

“We are relatively a younger bank. While conceiving the TVC, there was a conscious attempt to steer past the stereotypes and clichéd presentations that has plagued the credit card advertising,” says Anil Kumar, Associate Vice-president, Contract Advertising.

Let’s take a quick look at the TVC. The 35-second ad begins in a milieu of royal affairs, where a rich man in his mid-thirties is seen packing his bags for a journey. A butler steps in with an object on a silver platter. To our surprise, it turns out to be an aviator helmet, which was prevalent in the days of the World War II and a pair of sunglasses. The stately man is again seen in the garden with a funny skullcap. He gets on an 80-foot high hot-air balloon and sets out on a fly. The voice over buzzes: 'There's an easier way to fly anywhere in the world for free’ – leading to the ABN AMRO Bank and in turn to the Gold Card. The commercial ends zooming on the intrepid aviator caught in the branches of a tree.

Shamin Desai of Nutcracker Films, Mumbai had directed the commercial. “The spoof of replacing the aircraft with an hot air balloon did the work,” says Kumar. The new campaign targets individuals of high net worth, in middle to senior management levels, he informs.

“The lead vehicle was television, and the commercial focused on the proposition: 'Free air tickets on any airline to any destination'. Print advertisements were used to detail the offer to the consumer with a slew of rational, value-added features buttressing the core benefit,” Kumar explains. He, however, does not rule out the possibility of outdoor medium to be used for a series of hoardings and kiosks serving as a reminder medium and a call to action.

Presently, the airline rewards offered by all other Gold Credit Cards are relevant primarily to domestic sectors. What's more, a customer could convert his flying miles and either fly Jet or Indian Airlines or Sahara, for instance, but not all three if he so wished. This led to a situation where credit cards were ruling the consumer's choices.

So, where does the ABN Gold Card stand apart? As Kumar puts it, the new ABN Smart Gold Card has changed the credit card landscape. “Its unique ‘Smart Miles Airlines Rewards Program’ allows a customer to convert his flying miles which enables him to fly free on any airline, domestic as well as international, to any destination in the world,” he says.

Furthermore, the Smart microchip embedded in the card lets a customer redeem his reward points instantly, without the inconveniences of paperwork and needless delays. That apart, the latest offering comes with a host of innovative features such as redemption on Apex Fares, redemption against car rentals, lifestyle products, hotel stays and even cruises.

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