This heartwarming new Axis Bank film will inspire you to ‘Reverse the norm’

image - excellent axis bank ad - Reverse The Khaata Reverse The Norm - MediaBrief

This wonderful and simple little film from Axis Bank surely makes an undisputed place for itself amongst our Top 10 empathy-driven campaigns during the ongoing pandemic. Our relationship with the humble services-and-eatbles providers who must set up shop every morning if they are to feed their families that night, has always been defined by the warmth of those tea-stall, puncture-shop, chat stall owners, and our own warmth towards them. Smiles are often the first spontaneous greeting from the one to the other.

What have they been going through during the ongoing lockdown, though? And how can we step up and help them find their feet again once the lockdown does open up? That’s the line of thought in this, Axis Bank’s latest campaign — beautifully written, simply shot and edited, and brilliantly narrated (by Lowe Lintas chairman Amer Jaleel) – explores, and suggests a simple solution that nobody who’s ever been  a regular customer of the little-shop owners, would possibly disagree with.

As life begins to open up after the lockdown ends, several small-scale vendors may need money to restart their business. At such a time, regular customers can lend a helping hand by advancing the money for their products/services that they will buy in future.

Being an essential service provider, Axis Bank has been at the forefront of helping people through services like mobile ATMs. While continuing to do so, it is also nudging people to open their minds to play a small part in kickstarting the crippled economy and ecosystem.

In fact, AXIS Bank has truly excelled with its marketing during the ongoing COVID lockdown, and we’ll get you some four more films we loved, in another story.  The country’s third-largest private sector bank unveiled its new brand philosophy ‘Open’ earlier this year. It was – and continues to be – projected on on numerous occasions,  keeping accessibility, absence of bias and openness at the core of the Bank’s communication.

And now, walking that talk, Axis Bank has urged everyone to embrace the philosophy of ‘Open’ and support the needy.

image-Asha Kharga - Executive VP & Group Chief Marketing Officer at Axis Bank-MediaBriefCommenting on the film, Asha Kharga, EVP & Group CMO, Axis Bank, said,  “The concept came from a simple, uniquely Indian insight of khaata that most of us have with local shops like the kiraanawala, the neighbourhood chaiwaala, the istriwala, to name a few.

“These are long-standing relationships rooted in trust. As the country starts opening up, these small businesses will need all our support to get back on their feet. And hence the simple message was to appeal to the collective goodness in people by asking them to reverse the khaata for these local shops.

“Also it’s not just a campaign idea. Axis Bank partners with these small merchants through various initiatives, be it by enabling payments to merchants through UPI, or through low cost payment solutions like Bharat QR and POS terminals or providing them small ticket loans through our NBFC subsidiary- Axis Finance.

“I strongly believe that brands can be a force for good and this message asks people to join their hands and support local businesses in hard times,” Kharga said.

#ReverseTheKhaata, conceived by Lowe Lintas and produced by LinProductions, is executed via a series of pictures that project a range of emotions beginning with the phrase ‘Kitni baar kaha hai Khaate mein likh do‘.

The term ‘Khaata’ not only creates a transactional bond but also an emotional connect between two people – be it a vegetable vendor, a tea-seller outside the offices or even an account in the bank; it is a sign of trust and connection between them.

It is with this trust that the brand is urging people to #ReverseTheKhaata and take care of the ones who have kept our account until now.

The film is live across the brand’s social media channels.

Interesting facts about how this film was created

image-Prateek Bhardwaj - CCO - Lowe Lintas - MediaBriefLet’s get them first from Prateek Bhardwaj CCO, Lowe Lintas. He says, “The sentiment of ‘Reverse the Khaata’ has really resonated with people, and it’s so nice to see it organically being shared everywhere. Its journey from idea to execution stands testimony to how well Lintas plays as a team.

“The idea, in fact, came from a group that doesn’t work directly on the brand. The team and the client loved it as it fits so well with the core Axis idea of ‘Dil se Open’. LinProductions came in and turned around the film in record time, with art directors picking up the cameras for some of the shots.

“And finally, Amer, our chairman, himself pitched in as the VO artist that brings it together. With this much belief behind the idea, it isn’t surprising that it’s getting so much love too,” Bhardwaj said.

Some more facts:

image-Amer Jaleel -Chairman Lowe Lintas India MediBrief
Amer Jaleel’s VO too stands out. He also voiced Axis Bank’s ‘Dil Se Open’ brand campaign

As the film required candid pictures to make its point, some stock images were used along with a few pictures that were clicked before the lockdown began using a camera that quietly slips into a lane clicking pictures in a natural setting.

The creative team chose FUJI XT 100 which is compact, quiet, fast, and well suited for street and candid photography.

And BTW, we know that the film is held together by the voice of Amer Jaleel. But did you know that Jaleel was also the voice behind Axis Bank’s ‘Dil Se Open’ brand campaign?



  • Client: Asha Kharga, Abraham Chacko, Hardik Joshi, Sayan Haldar
  • Creative Team: Prateek Bhardwaj, Ashwin Joharapurkar, Ripanka Kalita, Garima Khandelwal, Poonam Wahi
  • Account Management: Shantanu Sapre, Jay Ladhani, Nitasha Chandnani
  • Production: LinProductions

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