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Sambhar Mafia - Cooked To Kill!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Surprising Bank of India

Public sector banking giant SBI is advertising itself as Surprisingly SBI. Singapore had also gone had also gone of a similar Surprisingly Singapore campaign few years go. The responses for this ad should be surprising to SBI. Sucheta Dalalwrites about this in Financial Express:

Pic Courtesy: Harshad Sharma (via)

State Bank of India (SBI), often described as a banking behemoth or the Big Daddy of Indian banking or banker to the government is clearly feeling very insecure. Its ‘‘Surprisingly SBI’’ campaign is itself evoking surprise and anger at the suggestion that people are unaware of its size and reach. We learn that the campaign is based on a survey conducted over FM radio and is targeted at yuppies in the 20 to 35 age bracket. But few are willing to buy its findings. It is difficult to believe that India’s educated, upwardly-mobile youth is so ignorant. It is however possible that this target group cares less about numerical supremacy than quality of service. And there, SBI indeed has a long way to go before catching up with its private sector rivals. But SBI investors are not amused at the public admission of ‘‘inferiority and diffidence’’ coming through in its advertisements.


  • It is however possible that this target group cares less about numerical supremacy than quality of service.
    This is so very true, and the bank officers still of themselves as babus though. I had once gone to an SBI to enquire about their housing loans and instead of showing what they had to offer the officer directly asked me if I had the requisite papers and that I cshould only come back when i have certain papers. It is another mater he didn't have time even for telling me what papers. The numerical supremacy have gone over their heads..

    Nevertheless its a huge bank

    By Blogger anthony, at 12:15 PM  

  • I found a negative connotation to these advertisements too and I think the current generation from 20-30 years are pretty aware of how large SBI is, the thing that holds them back is their service:-)

    By Blogger Minal, at 4:05 PM  

  • It's just a cool way to do a facelift. The outdoor andf the print work is just support work that aims to disseminate information. the real image building is happening in their Tv commercials. They are smart, sharp, contemporary, cool and very memorable. Which is what SBI is aiming to be, in it's new avataar. End of class. thank you for your time and attention.

    By Blogger Übermaniam, at 4:46 PM  

  • I think this is one of the best ad campaigns to come out in recent times from any bank. The look is cool and states facts to surprise. This has caught the eye of everybody.
    The facts are surprising and so it is ok to state it like that

    By Blogger Sriram, at 6:36 PM  

  • They should not have used the word surprisingly as if they themselves are surprised. Obviously-might have been better.Once I had gone to one of these branches to enquire about home loans and the lady said no this is not the time-we are too busy-may be after a week

    By Anonymous vasanthi, at 7:58 PM  

  • I think the purpose is served. For example I never knew SBI had the largest ATM network in India (Thought it was ICICI Bank)until they came up with the ads..

    By Blogger Cogito, at 8:27 PM  

  • Maybe they better focus on the "Quality of Service" and better "Online Presence" rather than hoardings with "surprising" slogans...

    By Blogger Lion King, at 10:18 PM  

  • I cant believe SBI is so popular! cool!:-)

    Smiles etc.,


    By Blogger Smyta, at 9:30 AM  

  • Hehe@Vasanthi. How typical of SBI.

    By Blogger Übermaniam, at 9:41 AM  

  • I guess the tamil version "Bramikka vaikkum SBI" meaning "Amazing SBI" conveys a better meaning

    By Blogger Jammy, at 1:13 PM  

  • I was surprised when I saw the advertisement. Its a PSU, but it is fast catching up with private banks and as said in the post, its target is the urban people. They have opened two ATMs close to each other in my area(bangalore)

    By Blogger Neel Arurkar, at 6:28 PM  

  • I find the SBI ads hilarious! They are pretty effective I imagine, going by the number of people who mention the ads these days.

    SBI seems to have accepted the fact that it does not have a glowing image in the minds of the younger segment and I think acknowledging that fact in its ads is rather endearing.

    By Blogger Echo/Lavanya, at 3:21 PM  

  • when i first saw the teasers (1st round of advertising), viz. largest number of ATMs, one of the largest banks in world, the obvious answer was SBI. OF course, when the tag line read "No. Guess again", it really set me off thinking.

    Lots of money spent, I hope these guys have had enough research to tell them that people are ignorant enough to be unaware of the country's largest bank. surprising, indeed.

    By Blogger StupendousMan, at 6:29 AM  

  • I appreciate SBI's new ads on television. They certainly are smart and thought provoking. Cheers to the team working on the new ads :)

    And about the "Surprisingly SBI" ads... I still think they got it totally wrong.

    By Blogger Harshad, at 4:34 AM  

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