‘Food’ & ‘Love’ the New Banking Currency – DBS Chilli Paneer

Brand Name

DBS Bank

Agency Name

SMG Convonix


DBS bank having been in India for almost 2 decades has always had only a niche set of audience to talk to. This year they decided to broaden their audience and address 3 primary concerns.

  1. Create a relevance with the young affluent Indians who are beginning the show immense spending and investment potential.
  2. Identify what drives this consumer segment and position brand ‘DBS’ and therefore the bank itself as a more personal, relevant and new aged partner.
  3. Showcase the amazing synergies available between Asia and the rest of India.

While other banks were taking a more product-led approach, DBS bank wanted to establish a deeper and more long-standing connection with the audience in the segment.

What drives this consumer segment? Food, Love, individuality and a sense of going after what they want.

With Chilli Paneer, DBS bank latched onto these behavioural patterns and weaved a story like no one else in the BFSI sector. All of this was brought to life through the story of Ken; a Singaporean food blogger and Asha;  a South Indian art director, who fall in love and create their own professional lives around what they love the most i.e. Food.


We knew who our audience was and what they were interested in, and where better to find them than on the digital platform where this audience is active as information seekers and opinion generators? Digital therefore became the centre and the world of Ken & Asha’s Chilli Paneer.

How did we serve Chilli Paneer up? Mixing the content & media approach in line with the objective of engagement we took a two-pronged approach:

  1. The film was released as four digital episodes every Friday morning, with all the marketing communication focussed on releasing the high point of the episode content
  2. The audience for the brand was widened from the standard News-Business-Finance categories to entertainment & food as well

This strategy ensured a few things from the start:

  1. Audiences we reached were hooked to the story and kept coming back for more
  2. Engagement was high as audiences found content they connected with. We received tremendous response from our integration with sites like Burrp & Saavn where a bank has never forayed before!

A story so unique could not take the beaten path in amplification. To serve up the special treat that Chilli Paneer was, we spiced standard display advertising with story-led messaging and social media amplification with advanced audience segmentation.

We decided to approach the promotion of the videos through a ninja approach of audience slicing, mapping and creating multiple avenues to augment interest. This principle was built on 3 basic audience behaviour sets

  1. People coming to our website
  2. People watching our videos or visiting our channel
  3. People interacting with our paid media

We continuously collated these segments and mapped each behaviour to the point of noting which set stopped watching at which video, and developed custom creative sets to drive up their interest. A third of the views on YouTube were generated through remarketing to the right audiences, and we saw consistent increase in the organic traction to videos by the finale!


  • Over a month, the campaign generated over 1.2 million views on the Chilli Paneer episode videos across media over a month and a 99% increase in YouTube channel subscribers


  • Aside from 2.5 lakh visitors to the campaign microsite the daily visits on the brand website increased by 70% from the previous two months without it being directly promoted.


  • With people now ready to embrace the brand, product enquiries went up by 30% after initial activation and have remained consistently higher since

This campaign definitively positioned DBS as a bank for the young, affluent, global and successful Indians and has given the brand and therefore the bank a launch-pad to change how banks talk to consumers.