Scarecrow M&C Saatchi creates Fund Island for U GRO Capital

Good news for small and big businesses in India. In volatile times or otherwise, businesses often need funds for working capital or expansion or replenishing stock. And to help U GRO Capital to address these needs, Scarecrow M&C Saatchi created a one-of-its-kind 3D animation film, Fund Island for the launch of its GRO X App.

The film is about a business owner whose factory is at a standstill due to a shortage of funds. He sends an SOS via his cell phone, which is metaphorically represented as a message in a bottle.

It is spotted and picked up by the messenger of the U GRO Capital realm, a pelican.

This message passes through a hierarchy – an analyst, represented by an ever-watchful rooster, and an emperor, represented by a sharp-eyed eagle.

After due diligence of KYC and other processes by the team of data analyst roosters, the loan is approved.

The approval letter is put in the same bottle and fired through a cannon to quickly reach the business owner’s cell phone. And all this is done in just a few moments.

This shows that when a business owner is marooned due to lack of money, U GRO Capital’s GRO X App will give the funds swiftly so that the business owner gets the freedom to run his business non-stop.

THE IDEA

We created Fund Island to represent U GRO Capital. It is an empire with a special infrastructure to search and rescue a business owner who needs funds.

The Fund Island is built on the three pillars of data, money, and communication – the analysis of business data, the money to lend and the know-how when the businessman needs money.

THE FUND ISLAND UNIVERSE

The Fund Island is created through a detailed 3D animation. Since this fintech brand uses futuristic technology, it can be represented either with sleek graphics like those in the Matrix or via a metaphor.

We chose a retro-futuristic metaphor to show the invisible technology, just as the symbol of GMAIL is an envelope and the emblem of Google Maps is a Pin.

So, we represented the future through the steampunk era. By using a retro-futuristic approach inspired by 19th-century steam-powered machinery, we create a timeless and relevant universe that blends the future, fantasy, and technology.

THE ARCHITECTURE OF FUND ISLAND

Fund Island covers a large geography, and the film takes place on its most important part, the king’s castle, built on a ridge. It is inspired by the Victorian and Renaissance styles. It has citadels, dormitories, and bastions, and even a landing pad for the flying representative (pelican).

There is also an observatory from which the king keeps an eye on the island’s fund approval system. In addition to his chamber, there are chambers for data analysts who closely examine the KYC, the Udyam number and other documents and approve the credit.

THE GADGETRIES

At U GRO Capital, the needs and solutions are eventually expressed in terms of money. That’s why the Fund Island features retro futuristic printing presses, mechanical arms, ticker machines and mechanised scrolls, as well as objects like throne, costumes and planetary system that use the symbolism and iconography of currencies and the binary language.

THE CITIZENS OF FUND ISLAND

EAGLE, THE WATCHFUL KING

Fund Island is ruled by a benevolent and powerful king, a majestic Eagle, which is a representation of focus, vision, wisdom, leadership, and power.

He is also the anthropomorphic representation of the wisdom of thought leaders like Galileo, Euler and Pythagoras and the aura of compassionate world leaders like Fredrich II, Marcus Aurelius and Ashurbanipal.

THE ROYAL MASK

The King wears oxidised metal armour decorated with an abacus, and also an eagle’s mask, as he is a superhero who rescues the money seekers.

The mask also symbolises that the credit system is data-based (anonymous and faceless), so the fund seekers do not have to go to the people and plead, thus protecting their vulnerability and self-respect.

ROOSTERS, THE DATA ANALYSTS

These roosters, a symbol of luck and wealth, are anthropomorphic representations of Sherlock-type intense data analysts who carry out the King’s instructions and evaluate and process the fund-related documents with extreme care.

They too wear a mask as they are a part of the superhero team.

PELICAN, THE MESSENGER

The Pelican is a sentient flying machine that collects messages from fund seekers and delivers them to the castle.

It is designed in a steampunk style and represents technology that is responsive, alert, and independent of the geographic location of the fund seekers.

THE MAKING OF THE FILM

The film is an amalgamation of different visions, people and teams. It began with two months of internal research by the young team at Scarecrow M&C Saatchi to conceptualise the elements and characters of Fund Island. And many of the scenes were brought to life through the magic of Deelip Khomane’s storyboard.

Bosco Bhandarkar, the Director, Vikram Kalra and the Good Morning team enhanced the visualisation and gave a cinematic touch, while Zink, a Canada-based animation house, gave this film a production value that matches an international-class 3D animation movie.

Shachindra Nath, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, U GRO Capital said, “We at U GRO Capital have always believed that data is the future of lending in India and have been at the forefront of its adoption. We understand dynamic MSME space and have pioneered a unique statistical underwriting model which uses repayment behaviour, banking behaviour & GST returns of the customer to arrive at a credit decision within minutes.

Through this campaign we wanted to showcase our ability to offer on tap credit through our GRO X app, where the MSMEs can not only manage their limit and dispense credit on UPI but can also accept payments. Scarecrow M&C Saatchi understood our proposition and their ability to create distinctive, strategically relevant creative work is what drew us to them.”

Manish Bhatt, the Founder Director of Scarecrow M&C Saatchi says “Technology in a digital era is invisible. We got an opportunity to give it a physical form. And the most challenging part is that there are no symbols or metaphors to represent this futuristic technology.

So, we found the answers in the steampunk retro-futuristic genre, which has rich imagery in illustration and animation.

We leveraged it to show something unusual and fascinating in a rather transactional fintech communication.

The youngest design and art team of Scarecrow got a limitless opportunity to express their ability to imagine and create this magnum opus film.”


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