How Chilli Paneer 2 Reached Out To 260K+ Unique Visitors & Helped Build Brand Awareness For DBS India

Case study by Sapient Nitro and Futureready Media for DBS Bank India to help build brand awareness in India, via an integrated campaign comprising storytelling, food influencers, contests and more

dbs chilli paneer 2

The Client

DBS Bank, headquartered and listed in Singapore, is one of the leading financial services group in Asia. It is a market leader in Singapore with a customer base of over 4 Million and has a strong presence across South East Asia. DBS provides a full range of services in consumer, SME and corporate banking activities across Asia. Currently, the bank has presence across 50 cities in 17 markets. DBS India is headquartered in Mumbai and operates in the country through its 12 branches, present in Bengaluru, Chennai, Cuddalore, Kolhapur, Kolkata, Moradabad, Mumbai, Nasik, New Delhi, Pune, Salem & Surat.

The Agency

Multiple agencies – Sapient Nitro, Futuready Media

Problem Statement

While DBS has a strong brand across Asia, its presence in India has been quite limited and its awareness was quite low. With changing paradigms of how customers typically interact with brands using digital media, it was important for the brand to embrace digital platforms and have strong content which their target customers, typically aspirational Indians could connect to.

Identified objectives

The primary objective was to build brand awareness. The approach was to engage with people through unique storytelling formats.  ‘Food’ continued to drive conversations in DBS Chilli Paneer 2. With the added layer of interactivity built in, the attempt was to let the consumer control and co-create the story of Ken and Asha with the bank playing a key role in each of the eight possibilities.

The aim was to build on the awareness from Chilli Paneer 1. The aim was to leverage the 600,000 engagements on the first installment of Chilli Paneer film.

B2B digital campaign awards 2015

The Strategy/Execution

The challenge lies in providing an exciting experience for the audience, where technology helps in building an interactive element to the film, without being a hassle. Chilli Paneer 2, a seamless continuation of Asha and Ken’s love story in Chilli Paneer 1, was filmed with 8 different endings, giving the viewer two choices to choose from at 4 cliffhangers throughout the interactive film.

YouTube wasn’t supportive of such seamless branching narrative and the team wasn’t enthused by the option of a film told over 10 windows or tabs. The solution was to host it on a microsite. It was a great coalescence of multiple factors that made the film a success — it called for a rigorous director with a vision, a perfectionist scriptwriter who continually fine-tunes the script, and a gifted cameraman who bore a heavy rig for hours on end to create a realistic point-of-view angle for the film, amongst many others.

The strategic approach consisted of following steps:

  1. Content Creation
  2. Content Seeding
  3. Content Amplification
  4. Engagement (which resulted in creation of more stories)

The social media channels used included:

  1. YouTube
  2. Blog
  3. Twitter
  4. Facebook

In addition to the film communicating through social media channels, the chief protagonists – Ken & Asha were active on Social Media and people could interact with them. Ken’s food blog and Ken & Asha’s Twitter handles provided people an opportunity to interact with the protagonists.

Social Media was supported by a 360-degree marketing campaign that also spanned print and radio, along with on ground activation and an intensive PR activity.

Key Activities


While Chilli Paneer 1 was released in episodic manner on YouTube, Chili Paneer 2 was hosted on the microsite, which facilitated getting viewer input at each juncture of the story and leading to an ending based upon their choices.

DBS Chilli paneer2 microsite

In addition to these, several tactical videos that showcased product and service aspects of DBS Bank were also created and shared. These videos were typically of around 30 seconds and promoted using different Social Media channels. These were also promoted through WhasApp by using sales team and their network (many of them who happened to be customers/ prospects)


By end of the campaign, Facebook community grew up to 45,000+ people.

Apart from sharing updates about the film and activities centered around it, Facebook also became a platform for people to share their personality types with their friends. These personality types were based upon the ending of the Chilli Paneer 2 film, which was based upon the alternative they chose at each stage of the film. Since there were 8 different ending, there were 8 different personality types.

DBS CP2 Facebook visual


Twitter was used extensively to communicate about the movie, enable conversations and drive traffic to the microsite. By the end of the campaign this Twitter handle had 1600+ followers.

In addition to the Chilli Paneer handle, profiles of Ken & Asha were created on Twitter. They talked and interacted like normal people, and had conversations centered around food and life in general.

In addition to communicating with Chilli Paneer’s and Ken’s & Asha’s handles, audience was also encouraged to share their personality type with their followers on Twitter.

Ken’s Food Blog

Ken’s Food Blog was curated and content shared therein. The content in Ken’s Food blog centered around interesting food and recipes. Tie up with certain restaurants in Mumbai were also done in order to promote Ken’s Food blog.


In addition to Ken’s food blog, several bloggers were engaged, especially the food bloggers. Bloggers meets were organized in order to engage them. Several blog posts were generated which helped in creating brand awareness.


Contests were held on Facebook and Twitter on regular basis to engage the audience. While each of these contests had Book My show vouchers as prizes, the mega prize included a trip to Singapore. This was decided among winners across the contests.

These contests centered around answering questions and sharing content pertaining to contents of the film, as well as personality types. While on Twitter, giving consistently correct answers increased audience’s chances to win a prize, on Facebook it was also about inviting people in liking your answers.

During the contests DBS Bank was amongst top 10 trends in India for a day and #8HappyEndings for 3 days on Twitter. In addition Amit Sharma (which was one of the answers) also trended for some time.

In addition to contest hosted by DBS, there were contests hosted on other channels also like the One Frame Stories.

Influencer Activity

Several influencers were engaged and content on Chilli Paneer (both parts) were disseminated using them. This resulted in a spike invisibility and awareness about the campaign. The influencer activities spanned blogging and Twitter campaign. While on blog they wrote about the movie and insights from them, on Twitter they pushed message related to movie contents and personality types.

Content Seeding

The content on Chilli Paneer- 2 was showcased across different sites. This amplified the content about the campaign across multiple platforms and also increased brand awareness.


  • 260,000+ unique visitors to the microsite
  • 475,000+ page views for the microsite
  • Average 5.38 minute – Time spent on video page
  • DBS Bank trended amongst top 10 trends in India for a day and #8HappyEndings for 3 days on Twitter
  • Media coverage from 20 publishers (AVE approx. SGD 600,000)


This was the first time in banking history such an effort has been made to engage and create conversations than mere broadcast of marketing messages. For us, ROI was not only about the encouraging numbers, likes, shares and views but also the rich engagement the campaign generated with over half a million unique visitors to the site. The positive buzz and awards and accolades from the leading industry bodies, only reaffirms our belief in leveraging the power of digital medium with innovative content.