How DBS Bank Is Building Brand Awareness Through The Love Story Of A Singaporean Boy And A Mumbai Girl

DBS Bank, one of Asia’s leading financial services group, has launched Chilli Paneer, a film with the aim to build brand awareness and consumer engagement, here we look at the social media activities


Love stories are unique. Everybody loves a dramatic love story, despite having listened to a hundred love stories before that. And a love story across countries fueled by the internet always sounds refreshing.

Here’s a love story called ‘Chilli Paneer’ that as the name suggests, has brought together two people from India and Singapore for their shared passion towards food. Presented by DBS Bank, one of Asia’s leading financial services group, ‘Chilli Paneer’ is the bank’s foray into brand awareness with storytelling.

Starring Tilottama Shome and Hero Tai as lead actors and directed by National award-winning director, Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, Chilli Paneer brings us a story about food, love, dreams and the seamless integration of banking into our lives.

While the boy, Ken is from a well-respected business family from Singapore, and is helping his father in running the family business, his real passion is food; he has a food blog. The girl, Asha is an Art Director in Mumbai, who loves experimenting in the kitchen, discovering new food joints and reading food blogs, especially that of Ken.

Ken is on a business visit to Mumbai when the two meet at an ATM where Asha recognizes him from the blog. The two connect instantly over their common interest in food. A relationship manager from DBS also makes an entry here. Watch the first part on their chance meeting:

The extensive storytelling campaign is supported by a dedicated website and an active social media presence comprising of Facebook and Twitter. The website features the films, along with the trailer, synopsis, cast & crew, soundtrack and a related contest. You can watch and download the mp3 of the Chilli Paneer OST ‘I found my calling’ at the soundtrack tab.

To build on fan engagement and keep them connected with the love story as it unfolds, the campaign has launched exciting contests with cool prizes. One needs to watch each episode of the Chilli Paneer film carefully and follow the film’s social media pages to stay updated about the contests. Prizes include vouchers from BookMyShow, food walks and cooking classes with celebrity chefs, while the mega prize is a trip to Singapore!

The Chilli Paneer Facebook page began with sharing teasers and little snippets from the story about Ken Chang and Asha Rao, before posting the first episode. Questions on the episode have been engaging fans, while ensuring more views on the video uploaded at the bank’s YouTube channel. Uploaded on September 4, the first episode video has received over 5.7K views until now, while the trailer video uploaded two weeks back has got over 89K views.

The Chilli Paneer Twitter page is also active with the #DBSChilliPaneer contest designed to have users tag their friends and help increase reach.

Connecting through stories

For a relatively unpopular bank in the country, ‘Chilli Paneer’ creates a sizzling entry for DBS on social media. The concept of how banking with DBS can give wings to a love story, is a refreshing take from the usual banking related promotions on social media. The bank from Singapore seems to have done its homework on what we Indians like  the most – food and a good love story. The bank that believes in building ‘long-lasting relationships with its customers’ has started on a good note with the Chilli Paneer film.

Trailers, contests with cool prizes and the dedicated social media activities in the campaign, have been designed in keeping with the objective of connecting with people. For storytelling campaigns, the challenge is to keep the engagement going and Chilli Paneer by DBS seems to be doing that for now. The bank could weave this story beyond Ken and Asha’s to build upon brand affinity and depict how DBS can help shape your dreams to reality.

I quite liked the first episode and can’t wait for the next, will Ken really leave for Singapore? Chilli Paneer has sure triggered some interesting conversations on social, what do you think?