In a conversation with Media Samosa, Abhijit Shah, Head – Marketing, Digital & Customer Experience, ICICI Prudential AMC gives a glimpse into the making and promotion of the SIP Hop Song.
SIP Hop Song was launched in 2019 as a means by ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund to reach out to people in a fun manner, educating them about the benefits of systematic investment. The brand focussed on digital media and strategic partnerships to popularise the song amongst younger Millennials. In order to amplify the song and its educational message, the brand relied on a combination of a targeted radio and music streaming services along with boosted advertising on Facebook and YouTube. Abhijit Shah tells us more about what meant into the making of the campaign.
Tell us about the creative process behind the song. Why was a rap chosen to communicate?
Let’s face the fact, investing is a serious business. That being said, we needed to come up with a radical approach to ensure that young millennials are not just exposed to our ads, but also remember them. So, we had to take a step back find a way to culturally resonate with our audience, but still stay true to the essence of our category & brand. The SIP Hop was born out of the need to explain to a ‘here & now’ audience that to achieve a goal, you must not only plan for it but also execute that plan, and a systematic approach is key. We needed to be edgy to get noticed, but also stress on the importance of planning for your goals; not just conventional goals like your dream home, retirement or an education for your child, but even goals like your next vacation, a motorbike or a second honeymoon. And what better genre than Hip Hop to land a hard-hitting message, at a time when the desi hip hop culture has exploded.
How did you leverage the music streaming applications for this campaign?
Over three weeks, our radio campaign targeted listeners across 7 markets, with spots on the top 3 stations in every city. We limited the plan to the morning time-band only, to have a higher frequency during prime time, further amplified reach during these hours through music streaming platforms like Spotify, JioSaavn & Gaana. These platforms provided us with the advantage of a forced impression and a strong call to action (a click to our campaign landing page) thereby allowing us to re-market to an engaged audience.
Over and above running regular advertisement formats, we’ve also listed the song organically across various platforms. This has helped us create positive brand recall on two counts; we seamlessly placed native content (a Hip Hop Song about investing) on music platforms, given that audio advertisements play one at a time, the awareness effect of the campaign was further boosted. Besides being able to serve relevant content to a targeted audience, we were also able to rack up over 10 million complete 30 second listens, at a very effective cost per spot, in a short period.
— Sreeraman Thiagarajan (@sreeraman) November 20, 2019
Where does the brand want to position itself with this song-led campaign?
We’ve always believed that we’re a facilitator to our customer’s progress or tarakki. The SIP Hop Song does just that; that’s why we’ve dubbed it as the ‘Anthem of the Smart Investor’. We’re looking to drive a cultural shift and get people to make smart decisions to achieve their goals in life, and position Systematic Investment Plans as a smart investment decision to achieve their financial goals by investing systematically in Mutual Funds.
Who is the target audience for this song-led campaign?
The campaign focused on reaching out to the rising middle class who aspire to a higher standard of living, across the country. We’re also releasing the song in seven languages to widen our reach across the country.
Is there something significant about the timing of the song’s launch?
Desi Hip hop as a music genre has been around for a while, but it seems to have been mainstreamed post the release of Gully Boy earlier this year. We needed to be culturally relevant to connect with and leave a lasting impression on our audience.
Investments have an ingrained risk factor — how do you ensure you promote your products as well as responsibly warn people at the same time?
Benjamin Graham once said that successful investing is about managing risk, not avoiding it. And as managers of our investors hard-earned money, we feel that this is or primary responsibility. Through our various Investor Education initiatives, we focus on helping investors understand the need to have a well thought out financial plan for all their goals. Our Distribution Partners also play a key role here. We have also consistently promoted the need to invest systematically through SIPs in Mutual Funds, as it helps bring about investing discipline.
What is the significance of social media for a brand that deals with mutual funds? Where do social media platforms fit into the marketing mix?
With over half a billion Indians now using the internet for social media, there is no steering clear of social media for any brand. It has become an integral part of our lives, and it gives us a chance to create an emotional connect with our current & future customers. This is of paramount importance if we want users to actively engage with us. While our audience may be present across multiple platforms, we also need to ensure that we as a brand are present on relevant platforms. Our presence and usage of social media extends beyond creating awareness for the brand and category, but also to share information & engage with users on a one to one basis.