Casestudy/ HDFC BANK
How we helped India’s largest private sector bank promote their flagship finance app
"Apart from the top notch quality of their work, what really impressed me was how seamlessly we were able to navigate through the project because of their solid work process. They have a great recipe of creative storytelling and smart marketing."
Abhilasha MathurAssistant Vice President, Marketing
PayZapp is an invoicing solution by HDFC Bank which enables customers to pay, receive and request payments on the go. E-commerce and digital payments were just starting to gain popularity in India and it was the perfect time for an app like PayZapp.
HDFC Bank is India's second largest private sector lender in India by assets and the largest bank in terms of market capitalization in India in 2016. It has been included in the Forbes list of 100 most valuable global brands 8 times and is among the world’s top 10 consumer financial services firms.
The problem was that the concept of digital payments and mobile banking were fairly new to India and the audience needed to be educated on how simple, safe and effective these payments were.
The bank had a customer base of more than 12 million users.
- They needed to reach out to this massive audience through different channels as fast as possible.
- They needed something that could easily be shared with their customers.
- A way to quickly explain the product and its benefits in a short amount of time.
- It should be interesting enough for busy customers to actually invest their attention.
An explainer video was the perfect solution to their problem because:
- PayZapp’s target audience was young millennials who spent a large majority of their day on the internet. Using a digital asset like an explainer video could help HDFC reach them through various channels like social media, organic search, E-mail and WhatsApp.
- This video could be used for multiple purposes like having it on the app description page on Playstore, on the HDFC E-mails, on the HDFC landing page or if they ever want to pitch the app to a investor personally.
- Explainer videos make boring business concepts much more engaging both in terms of visuals and storytelling.
- They can show how the app actually works so customers are aware of the look and feel of the app before downloading.
Our account executive is the first point of contact between us and the clients.
Like we always do with our new clients, we sent out a questionnaire to HDFC when they first approached us.
Video marketing is an art and there is no one-video-fits-all format. Every video is unique to the brand in terms of its identity, customers and marketing objectives.
This is why we always encourage our clients to fill the questionnaire before sitting down for a meeting.
It has questions like:
The answers to these questions gave us important insights into the brand identity of HDFC and their target customers.
First we had our account manager and the creative director sit down for a meeting with them to discuss what they would like to achieve.
We came to an agreement that for the kind of message that they wanted to say, a 2D animated explainer video would be the best choice.
The creative director had a brainstorming session with our scriptwriters on the angle of the story.
Scripting is tricky and one of the most important aspects of the video. It is about finding the right balance between a creative story and a message that drives customers to take action.
Advertising legends have taught us that how we present a message is much more important than the message itself.
The primary target customers for PayZapp were young tech savvy individuals so we knew that the story had to appeal to this base.
In the table below you get a detailed overview of our thought process during the scripting process.
What we wanted to do
How we did it
Why we did it like that
Tell a story that the target audience could relate to.
Our target audience was tech savvy youngsters so our story was about a young couple and the scenes from their life.
Telling relatable stories was the best way to communicate our message to the target customers.
Highlight the customers pain points first
We brought the attention of the viewers to the fact that online payments today are not as fast and convenient as we would hope for.
When the pain points are highlighted first, the customers are reminded of the difficulty they face now. After that the viewers will value your solution more.
Translate this pain point to an emotion.
To do this we created a scene where the man is in an embarrassing situation when he is not able to pay for dinner.
We believe that customers are motivated to purchase based on emotions and not fact. By bringing up the scene of public disturbance, the customer now feels the pain point on an emotional level.
present how to use the app
We explained the exact registration process and demonstrated how to make payments.
Previewing an app before downloading shows users the look and feel of it.
Click here to read the final script for the video.
Now that we decided how we wanted to present the message, we moved onto creating the storyboard for our video. A storyboard is a rough sketch of each frame of the video along with its description and voice over.
Click here to read the final storyboard for the video.
Illustration and style frames
After the storyboard is created we share it with our clients for approval. After approval, it is forwarded to the illustrators to create the characters and backdrops for the video. The new illustrations makeup the style frame for the video which include the final color schemes of the video as well.
It was important that we chose the same color scheme of the HDFC for the explainer video. By using these colors we maintained brand consistency so that the audience would associate the video to the brand better.
HDFC’s Color Scheme
Explainer Video Color Scheme
When developing the characters we knew we wanted the characters to be a young couple as they represented our target audience best.
We then forwarded the style frames to the animators who made the images come to life, frame by frame.
Animated explainer videos are effective because they engage the mind in a very visual manner. By engaging the audio and visual senses we are able to capture the attention of the viewers so that our message can be communicated to an attentive audience.
We make sure that our animations are not dry and static- As you can see that even the transitions for the PayZapp video are visually appealing and there is a great flow.
Sound effects are also added to sync with the actions in the video (Eg: Sound of typing on phone, sound of notifications received etc.).
Even though it may not seem so, music plays an important role in explainer videos.
We believe that just like the video, the music should also be custom-made as they make the video experience unique. So we produced an original background score for PayZapp.
We decided to use simple and upbeat music to capture the mood and feel of the video.
A great idea that we came up with was to make the music more peppy and upbeat just after introducing PayZapp in the video. We leveraged music to emotionally escalate the viewers.
Check it out:
Music Before Introducing The Ipal App
The music at the beginning of the video is soft and has a monotonous aura to it. This encapsulates the mood of the scene, which is more about the pain points of the customers.
Music After Introducing The Ipal App
Once the Ipal app is introduced, the music picks up the tempo and is more optimistic. We wanted to convey with the music that the Ipal app was something to be thrilled about.
From our experience we now have access to a vast library of voice over talents of different nationalities, accents, gender, age groups and voice tones.
Since HDFC is an Indian bank targeting Indian customers, we knew we had to use an Indian voice over artist to better connect with the audience.
In each stage of the processes discussed above we ask for client feedback so that they have a say in each and every aspect of the explainer video production process. If the client is not happy with something or if they want to include something more, we are more than happy to do whatever it takes to make the video better.
How HDFC Used The Video?
We talked earlier about how explainer videos are extremely flexible in the ways it can be used. Take a look at exactly how HDFC used the video for their marketing:
- Email: By embedding videos in their E-mails, HDFC was able to directly market the video to their existing customers.
- Landing page: If a user reached the PayZapp webpage on the HDFC website, they would find the video on this page as well.
- Facebook: They uploaded it on their Facebook page and ran ad campaigns to promote it.
- YouTube: Apart from reaching out to the 16,000 subscribers on their Youtube channel; they also ran a Youtube ad campaign where this video was displayed as an ad targeting customers in the 22-35 year old demographic.
- Whatsapp: The video was promoted through WhatsApp as well. Whatsapp has a 16MB upload limit, so we delivered a version of the video that could be sent through the app.
- Playstore: When a user visits the PayZapp page on google playstore, he gets to see the explainer video there and so he can see a preview of the app which can reinforce his decision to download.
- Support Chats: For customer support enquiries the video was used to address queries that could be answered by the video.
We were very excited about the results for this video. To put things in perspective let’s see how the explainer videos of PayZapp’s competitor apps performed.
Now check out the video views for our explainer video!
So as you can see, 800k+ views are huge in the banking sector niche as you can clearly see from the views of the competitor apps. When we started off this project we did not expect results like this which gave us a lot of confidence that our process was successful and effective.
The app has generated over 5 million downloads on Playstore as of April 2017.
HDFC was very happy with the results and they decided to partner up with us for 7+ videos for PayZapp alone. We used the same central characters in the videos to maintain brand consistency.
Note: The original 'Introduction to Payzapp' video is currently unlisted on the HDFC bank youtube channel. They have re-uploaded the same video after adding the official HDFC logo at the end. So the view count of the video will not be the same as that which is mentioned in the Case Study.
The view count of the video was 803,777 as of 17th April 2017.