9 months ago
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Is it Time To Teach Back?
Telling stories to attract the masses.
A middle-aged man struggles to make electricity bill payment through mobile banking. He requests his wife to ask their son to help him transact. The reluctant wife tells him to ask the son himself. The son is most probably in his early twenties, lying on the sofa comfortably listening to music with headphones glued to his ears. The dad takes off the son’s earplugs and hesitatingly requests, “Son can you teach me one more time?”
The son gets agitated and reacts, “How many times do I have to teach you?” The mother intervenes, hands the son a glass of juice but the son refuses, breaks the glass and walks away. On his way he stumbles upon a dad running after his young son to teach him cycling. This takes him down the memory lane when his own dad taught him cycling, photography, fishing and other life lessons. The regretful son reminisces how his dad never got tired of playing with him, how he told him stories and taught him the value of money. He then heads back home and assures his dad who earlier requested him to teach mobile banking once again, “Baba, for you a million times.”
The tearful dad and son hug each other as the weeping mother looks at them. The son teaches his dad mobile banking and the dad now successfully transacts and it is a happy ending.
The story is the concept of an advertisement by Fonepay with the hashtag #TimeToTeachBack. The advertisement calls for action to teach parents mobile banking. The video got immediate responses and feedback from the audience in social media. Some people commented the advertisement to be over dramatic and unrealistic. A few even said that they themselves don’t know mobile banking how will they teach their parents, other critics even pointed that advertisement was copied from international ads.
Nonetheless, the video was shared by thousands and viewed by millions. Moreover, many commended the video for its ability to evoke emotions and celebrate relationships.
Audiences could relate to the advertisement as the incident was common in almost every household. The intensity of the reaction might be lesser but there are times when parents or an elderly person has requested younger generation to teach how to use technology. Most parents spend their lifetime teaching children and introducing them to the world. But when it is the turn of the children they usually don’t show similar enthusiasm and in some cases like shown in the advert disrespectfully walk away.
Such campaigns signify the shift of brands towards becoming socially responsible rather than working merely for a profit motive. This is not the first time brands have used emotional appeal to attract the masses in Nepal. In 2015, Coca-cola introduced the campaign ‘celebrating relationships’ which was the local version of ‘share a coke’ campaign. Other than that there are not many noteworthy creative or relatable marketing campaigns in Nepal. Especially no other tech company in Nepal has introduced such an advertisement. The level of digital literacy among the older generation has to increase for IT companies to do well.
However, in the international advertisement world hitting the emotional cord is not a new thing. Time to teach back is inspired by Google India’s “Helping women get online” an initiative that empowers women in India to use the internet. In one of the Google ads, a daughter is seen celebrating her mother getting online. These kind of advertisements may not create immediate action but they start a conversation and has long- term impact.
Storytelling is a weapon for advertisers. If used wisely it can connect people to brand and create brand loyalty. However, inappropriate use may not lead to desired results. How effective will #TimeToTeachBack be? Will it trigger youngsters to teach their parents mobile banking? Only time can tell.
- by Rajeeb Shrestha
- by Moin Uddin