Come tax season, there’s a slew of campaigns urging people to invest in ELSS, the preferred tax-saving mutual fund option for the majority.
But traditionally the ELSS communication has been rather drab and preachy – a route that doesn’t work with audiences anymore. Also, we live in an era of consumer attention deficit – if you’re not doing something that stands out, you’re losing your audience.
This year, Axis Mutual Fund’s ELSS campaign #TaxFever decided to do something different.
The communication for the campaign is based on one interesting insight: despite the annual experience of having significant amounts cut from their salaries as tax, people don’t usually start their tax saving investments early in the year. It’s almost always a rushed, last-minute decision. This procrastination around tax saving is what Axis Mutual Fund addresses in their campaign #TaxFever.
The creative execution is interesting. The films rope in look-alikes of easily recognizable popular figures from the News and Entertainment space, to convey the tax saving message in a humorous style.
In the first film, we see an emphatic news anchor interviewing Karan, a 20-something salaried individual who has yet again delayed his tax planning. He keeps questioning Karan, because ‘THE PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW’ why he waits until the last moment every year to plan his taxes.
The second film starts with a police inspector, who is “investigating” Mr. and Mrs. Malhotra – a couple who neither plans early for their taxes nor factors in wealth building into their tax plans.
Why this parody route, though?
Naila Patel, Executive Creative Director, Mirum India, says of the approach, “Several reasons contributed to the choice of this parody angle. We wanted to push the envelope with this campaign and highlight the waiting game of tax savings by giving it a name. That’s where #TaxFever came from. Our audience for the campaign – individuals between the ages of 25 and 43 – are averse to preachy content. They respond well to communication that tickles their funny bone, is relatable, and most importantly, has a human element to it. And while tax and investing in ELSS remain the mundane reality of our lives, we needed comic relief to save the day. So, we went the parody way – why not leverage existing figures who are easily recognizable, have their individual quirks and well-known catchphrases? The core message of our campaign, #TaxFever Se Bacho, ELSS Mein Invest Karo, has a face – two faces, rather – that drives home the message in their individual, unique ways.”
Both the films utilize the kind of exaggeration and theatrics that are synonymous with the formats they’re parodying. Lack of timely tax planning is treated as a misdemeanor to be reported on the news, a crime to be investigated.
Boniface Noronha, Head – Marketing & Digital at Axis Mutual Fund, says of the campaign, “We wanted to steer clear of drab, run-of-the-mill messaging around tax. Instead of saying ‘here’s a tax saving instrument to invest in’, we wanted to say ‘why don’t you start investing early every year so you don’t have to worry about last-minute tax-saving investments?’ And we wanted to do this in a fun and relatable way, which the films are able to do very well.”
The campaign has the advantage of being platform agnostic – the dramatic comedy works equally well on a far-reaching social media platform like Facebook as well as the niche LinkedIn.
Campaign Head – Naila Patel (Executive Creative Director)
Planning & Servicing – Heer Meisheri (Assistant Manager – Digital Marketing), Khushboo Parikh (Project Supervisor – Digital Marketing)
Creative Team – Kishor Shembekar (Creative Director), Ketan Nangare (Sr. Art Director), Omkar Deshpande (Sr. Visualiser), Mrisha Gupta (Copy Supervisor), Melanie Joe (Sr. Copywriter) and Karan Vazirani (Head – Video Production)
Media Planning & Buying – Joy Das (GM – Media Planning), Milan Nakrani (Group Head – Media Planning), Simran Arora (Media Planning Executive)
Axis Mutual Fund
Boniface Noronha, Head – Marketing & Digital