Bank frauds are no jokes. A recent report on banking frauds states that 74 percent of Indians have never recovered their money lost in cyber frauds, and the biggest reason for this is unsafe banking practices. To counter this, HDFC Bank launched a campaign aimed at promoting safe banking habits among the people.
The campaign has been cleverly titled ‘Vigil Aunty’- a wordplay around vigilante. Anuradha Menon, who plays the popular character of ‘Lola Kutty’ on television, is the face of the ‘Vigil Aunty’ campaign.
The bank’s intentions may have been in the right place to safeguard fellow Indians from online frauds but the title of their campaign already exists in the world of @appupen, an artist and author of The Halahala Dimension. This was pointed out by journalist Anindita Ghose on Twitter.
“@HDFC_Bank’s new campaign is foolishly lifted from Indian graphic novelist Appupen/@WorldOfHalahala. If only they knew his ‘Vigil Aunties’ are “women who support the men who support tyranny.”
.@HDFC_Bank’s new campaign is foolishly lifted from Indian graphic novelist Appupen/@WorldOfHalahala. If only they knew his ‘Vigil Aunties’ are “women who support the men who support tyranny.” pic.twitter.com/IyvOOQIsVS
— Anindita Ghose (@aninditaghose) August 18, 2022
Although there may be no visual similarity in the design or the message either of the characters seems to be conveying, the fact that the two share an identical name, a unique wordplay at that, didn’t sit so well with many.
What a shame !
The most valued private sector bank can’t even turn up with a sensible poster for its campaign.Tells us how little they value their own work and the customers.@MDahariya1
— Tweetractatus (@rosharma08) August 18, 2022
Why even pay an agency if they are going to shamelessly plagiarise like this? Truly sad to see this.
— Ram (@unkoolie) August 18, 2022
A good idea destroyed by a silly campaign. And that too, lifted.
— Pritish Nandy (@PritishNandy) August 19, 2022
The artist, responding to HDFC’s take on ‘Vigil Aunty,’ incorporated the bank’s character in a new, cheeky strip showing her journey from “indie satire comic to mainstream bigbucks advertising.”
Looks like a quite a leap of imagination to say HDFC lifted it. To me it's just a simple word play on vigilante. Or are even word plays to be credited now?
— Sam (@Kwantiv) August 18, 2022
Are you basing this on the wordplay?
— AN (@ajith27) August 18, 2022
Meanwhile, according to the bank, since ‘Vigil Aunty’ will be a Social Media Influencer, she will maintain a constant presence in the digital ecosystem and “continue to inform customers about the various modalities of financial fraudsters and how to stay safe from them.”