Housing finance company DHFL has brought out the big guns in its endeavour to increase awareness and visibility for its brand with its newly launched campaign with Shah Rukh Khan (SRK). The 31-year-old company, currently led by Kapil Wadhawan, had roped in SRK as its brand ambassador towards the end of last year and since then has used him extensively in the communication for the brand.
While having SRK on board is a great advantage, the brand team at DHFL and its creative agency Sapient Nitro were very sure of which aspect of King Khan’s personality they will use. Sevantika Bhandari, SVP and head, marketing and financial services group, DHFL says, “We need our brand to be visible where our TG is and our communication to be relatable. SRK cuts across age groups and geographies; he also has an inspiring backstory. His story of modest beginnings and success through hard work and grit is known to every Indian. This is what we wanted to use.”The main focus at DHFL has been customers in Tier-II and Tier-III markets. Bhandari explains their target consumer is someone who “wants to buy a house to have a roof over his and his family’s head and not for investment.” Research carried out by the company revealed that communication about real estate properties revolve around ‘big is beautiful’. This encouraged people (in DHFL’s target consumer base) to wait till they could afford a better house/office and delay their purchase decisions. The first campaign with SRK addressed the idea of ‘buy it now’. It has SRK in a plain shirt and trousers, urging people to buy their dream homes then and there, rather than wait for something better. “We wanted to tell our customers that they can always make it better, but they should buy it now,” says Bhandari.
The second campaign follows a similar insight. In this case, the customers were waiting for rates to drop and economy to get better before investing in homes. DHFL tweaked its communication to say that the present is the best time to buy a house. It has also reduced its rates after the rate cuts by the Reserve Bank of India. Bhandari explains, “We believe in passing on the benefits and all the external communication is first showcased internally so that every employee knows how we want to the company to be projected.”
While SRK is the face of the campaign, the company is also bullish on digital communication. Apart from traditional media like TV, print and outdoor, DHFL will also be using mobile advertising extensively. The DHFL group is also a sponsor with the Indian Premier League franchise Mumbai Indians. Bhandari says that these decisions are driven by the need to increase total recall in key demographics coupled with the budget at her disposal. While it has so far looked at cricket alone, other sports like football and kabaddi are looking like good options as the leagues progress, she says.