Paytm conducted a social experiment to understand gender disparity in the context of financial literacy in India on the occasion of International Women’s Day. Social Samosa digs deeper to understand how the brand attempted to break the clutter on the occasion.
In an attempt to bring cognizance towards the financial literacy for women in India, Paytm conducted a social experiment campaign helmed by Ruchi Narain during women’s day. Executed by Dentsu Impact, the campaign was aimed at making people realize that making women financially literate is as important as anything else.
Insight: Adopting a Different Route
It is primarily believed and followed that men handle financial matters better and are the ones who should be in control. To date, the importance of financial knowledge for women has not been given its due significance. Paytm wanted to break the clutter around conventional Women’s Day conversations with the topic at hands.
Anupama Ramaswamy, Managing Partner, and National Creative Director, Dentsu Impact, shares, “We felt the need to engage with our audiences in a meaningful way and put forth a genuine belief – that gender and finance should be separated. We wanted men and women both to realize the importance of teaching and learning matters related to money.”
This gave birth to Paytm campaign, “The Divide- A Social Experiment”, urging the audience to separate gender from finance.
Brief & Creative Thought-Process
As a brand that believes in driving relevant conversations, Paytm had to break the clutter, especially on a topical day that is thronged with campaigns. Dentsu Impact’s task was to initiate communication that creates resonance and drives impact with the audience around Women’s Day, with the aspect of shareability through relevant messages to the audience.
To achieve this, Ramaswamy shares that the first question they asked was how to stand out in the bedlam of noise. “Everyone on the team was convinced that a unique and genuine POV was the only way to break the clutter”, she says.
It was a unanimous decision for the teams to go with a more nuanced conversation around financial literacy and make it as non-preachy as possible. “The efforts were primarily divided between identifying the right way to package the conversation, asking the right questions, shortlisting real people from different walks of life, and then executing it in the most organic way possible”, she adds.
Making & Behind-The-Scenes
Paytm questioned the country about the way they looked at money. Instead of following the age-old stereotypes around it, the brand-agency duo attempted to challenge the norms by making people first aware that there is a gap in the way, men and women are exposed to money matters in their lives.
This was followed by the need to fill the gap by ensuring to present equal rights and independence for financial literacy for women. This worked as an eye-opener for the women professionals participating in the experiment, as well, who realized how they depended on the men in their lives when dealing with finances.
Ruchi Narain, a celebrated film-maker was roped in, to conduct the social experiment. Speaking about the association, Ramaswamy highlights, “What I like about her approach is that she doesn’t assign blame, but her end messaging is always constructive and proactive. Another very important consideration was that she understands the pulse of effective communication, even if it is a multi-layered issue. She was clear about the intent of the campaign and crafted everything accordingly.”
As the campaign proceeded, the questions started from generic ones and culminated into specific queries around financial topics, each person having to go forward or backward depending on their yes or no answers. In the end, a huge gap was evident between males and females that clearly pointed towards the difference in the financial literacy and independence between the genders with the need to fill the same.
Sharing some interesting anecdotes while making the campaign, Ramaswamy put forth, that there were 3 participants who were all sure they would ace whatever questions were thrown at them but were in shock when they realized that they had fallen back because they too didn’t manage their own money. “It was a rude shock for them,” she said.
“The Director was very moved to see this ‘natural collaboration’, and took a beautiful drone shot of it as well for posterity and the hope it symbolized”, she shared.
Marketing Strategy & Social Media Play
The intention for the brand has been to start conversations and therefore any medium that allowed a two-way street for conversing with the audience was to be chosen. Overall, since the time Paytm or Pay through mobile started cashless transactions back in 2010, the marketing strategy for the brand follows a similar route where it continues to highlight the USPs that it brought in the country.
From co-branding efforts to collaborating with major sports events such as the ODI matches in 2021, IPL seasons in the past, etc., the platform leverages digital media for staying relevant during moments and communicating its offerings and beliefs to the audience.
The core social media strategy as observed revolves around educating the customers about the benefits and safety around cashless transactions.
Paytm garners maximum followers on Instagram with 4.1M followers, followed by Facebook with 3.1M followers, Twitter with 1M followers, and 294K subscribers on YouTube. The primary hashtag used across posts is #PaytmKaro for the brand which is also its tagline.
“We feel the rules of the duration of an ad only apply to those that are programmed to sell without engaging first. The single-line message to the audience was to re-evaluate the importance of financial literacy in the journey to close the gender gap,” concludes Ramaswamy.