Cannes Lions

Add An Ad

KINNECT, Mumbai / HDFC BANK / 2022

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Case Film
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HDFC Bank, India’s largest private sector bank, was launching their 3rd annual shopping festival called ‘Festive Treats’. It offered a bouquet of discounts and offers to customers for their festive shopping. Research suggested that despite a few tough months in 2021, 72% Indians were looking forward to the upcoming festive shopping season, and 62% were keen on shopping online, making it a massive ‘Digi-fest’.

From smartphones to clothes to loans, we had a vast array of offers to communicate, and an equally large competition vying for top of mind awareness during the festive season. Our objective was to encourage Indians to avail HDFC Bank offers on card purchases and loans. Having successfully done this for the past 2 years, we set out to make it a hat-trick of standing out from the crowd by ‘adding an ad’, this time on Youtube.


While watching 73 questions, have you ever checked out the products in the celebrity’s house? You’re not alone. Social listening data showed that while watching vlogs and even on zoom, audiences were eyeing and discussing objects in the background. Moreover these items had a higher recall than the actual content. We found an uncontested advertising gold mine - the background.

The products that HDFC Bank had festive discounts on, were naturally spotted in the background of Youtube vloggers’ videos. So in their next vlog, instead of talking about our offers, we added an ad on the products in their background. Without interrupting the video, we directed the viewer to buy what their eye spied. All with a simple arrow pointing to a Youtube information card.


While we knew people were spending more time than ever on social media, we wanted to identify which platforms and vehicles were influencing people’s online shopping. A careful study in this regard led us to YouTube, primarily vloggers who enjoy a high affinity amongst our addressable audience. Social listening further revealed that apart from the actual content, the vlogger’s background also enjoyed a lot of attention. This insight informed our strategy.

We converted this unused background real estate into a novel media format by leveraging the YT info cards. While the creator’s backdrop gave us the display space for our ad, the synced cards delivered the information that drove clicks. This choice of format was aimed at delivering higher effectiveness viz-a-viz conventional ad formats due to its organic appeal to the viewer.


We enrolled YouTube creators across different regions, languages, and categories that had a stronger fit with the offers on HDFC Bank’s Festive Treats. Additionally, we analyzed and shortlisted creators, basis: product interest in comments, following, visibility, content quality, audience demographics (age group, gender split), engagement rate, ROI metrics (CPV/CPR). Thus, arriving at 23 unique creators.

The idea was minimally designed to convert the viewers’ voyeuristic interest in a background product into a purchase via YouTube information cards, an often underutilized and ignored feature of YouTube. Also, testing revealed that people noticed an average of 3 products in a vlog averaging 5-10 mins. Thus, allowing us to add 3 ads to every video.

At the heart of it all was an ad that didn’t intrude the creators’ storytelling while driving higher conversions for us.


Audiences were lured in by their love for the creators' content. Our seamless plug-in of the Festive Treats discounts and offers in their backdrop amassed not just collateral reach but drove conversions too.

70 Ad Placements with 23 creators drove:

513k visits to the Festive Treats microsite

25% Increase in Credit Card Spends

18% Increase in Debit Card Spends

23% increase in Volume of Personal Loans

While amassing

12 Million Video Views (no paid promotions)

72 Million Impressions on Youtube

Add An Ad resulted in a CTR of 4.3% outperforming the industry average CTR of display ads(0.5%), rich media innovations (1-2%) as well as all display ads of this campaign (0.8-1.4%) making this the most successful creative format in the entire media mix, despite not even being one.

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