The ‘banker to every Indian,’ State Bank of India (SBI) is the country’s largest BFSI entity by revenue, assets and market capitalisation. With 13,000 outlets including 150 located abroad, the branches of this state-owned corporation can be found literally anywhere an Indian might aspire to travel. Its reputation as a trusted banker has been concretised since 1806, so much so, that it was ranked the 29th most reputed company in the world by Forbes in 2009. Indeed, inIndia, SBI represents trust and financial stability, and the company decided to leverage this perception in rural areas.
Despite being a household brand name in rural India, a common belief was that SBI is acutely selective in providing loans and that their systems are cumbersome. In a bid to alter these believes, the bank brought Vritti i-Media on board to promote its loan offerings and position itself as a one-stop-shop for all rural borrowing needs. The offered loans comprise SBI Tractor Scheme loan and crop loans (for farmers), as well as home loans and car loans (for middle class employed people). In addition, the bank promoted gold loans to farmers, small retail businessman and other lower and lower middle class people in Maharashtra. The aim of the exercise was to reinforce the fact that it is easy to get loans from SBI, and that villagers can approach the bank to meet their needs of tractors, a house, farm or dairy purchase.
Before its campaign with Vritti i-Media, SBI invested heavily in terms of cost and time for reaching out to rural markets through newspapers, OOH and below-the-line activities. Vritti i-Media devised an experimental pilot for the bank in 20 locations for three months which worked wonders. The campaign involved the use of Vritti i-Media’s audio network at MSRTC bus stands and audio visual network at food malls and dhabas on national highways and express highways. It not only enabled SBI to change people’s perception, but also established a channel of direct communication with farmers by educating them on various schemes, akin to the internet medium in urban areas. Fantastic results from the pilot drove the bank to extend the geographies and duration of the campaign. Extended from the three-month pilot, SBI will now conduct this campaign at all stations served by Vritti i-Media for a year.
On conducting the campaign, Vritti i-Media and SBI were able to fructify several cherished motives. For instance, with the initial campaign which was conducted for 20 days, SBI was able to garner enquiries worth Rs. 500 crore from varied rural target groups comprising farmers and small businessmen. The promotion also helped SBI in reducing its non-performing assets by directly communicating various schemes available for farmers if they pay their EMIs on time. Conclusively, with promotional help from Vritti i-Media, SBI was able to position itself as a one stop solution for all borrowing requirements of small town folk. It was able to establish itself as a simple, easy and responsive entity to deal with in a bid to encourage financial inclusion. Due to the success of the campaign, SBI recently renewed its association with Vritti i-Media and continues to count on its assistance to connect with Maharashtra’s hinterlands.
Take a glimpse on the audio ads created to reach the non-metros masses of Maharashtra:
SBI Bank’s car loan jingle:
SBI Bank’s tractor scheme jingle: