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LENDING & CREDIT | Cesar Tordesillas, Singapore
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Effecting a ‘prison’ escape from binding loan terms

Quirky. . . clever. . . captivating. These three words best describes GE Money Singapore’s advertising campaign for JAMES that features a humorous juxtaposition of life’s joy and pain situations.The campaign was rolled-out in a novel and well-thought programme designed to help customers relate to the dichotomy of satisfaction from achieving life goals while experiencing the loss of freedom as a “prisoner” to loans’ binding terms. The message: Free yourself from the bondage of personal loans through flexible repayment options.The launch of the new and enhanced JAMES personal loan in March 2008 was based on consumer insights showing that inflexible products make customers feel trapped and that they yearn for more options with personal loans. JAMES responded with a first-in-market product that empowers customers to make their own choices with flexibility that best suits their needs.“At GE Money, we understand that our customers’ needs are becoming more sophisticated. Whether it’s setting up a new home, managing wedding expenses, funding education or dealing with an unexpected event, GE Money also understands every customer has different needs. We look to help customers deal better with changing life situations and to meet their goals by bringing financial flexibility along with our commitment to responsible lending with the new and enhanced JAMES,” said Mr. Alok Kumar, Chief Marketing Officer, GE Money Singapore. With JAMES--you can avail of a personal loan that allows you to make your own choices through an extensive range of product features and flexibility. Hence JAMES is the personal loan that gives ‘Your Loan, Your Way’.These unique product features that offer customers flexibility and choice include: Last Instalment Waiver is a first ever for personal loans in Singapore. GE Money is committed to responsible lending and offers this unique benefit to encourage consumers to build a solid credit history by making repayments on time.The customers’ last instalment is waived if all monthly instalment payments are made promptly. Pay Interest Only offers customers the freedom to pay only the interest in the initial two months of their loan, also currently a first for personal fixed term loans in Singapore. It eases repayment pressures at the start of the loan, giving more flexibility to focus on the need than on repayment.Payment Holiday gives customers the flexibility to defer up to two monthly payments a year in case of unforeseen emergencies, allowing them to put their money where they need it most.Step Up or Step Down lnterest Rate lets customers tailor their instalment amount with a lower interest rate either at the start or at the end of the loan while the effective interest rate at the point of application remains for the customer. This feature helps customers plan their repayments around expected cash flow.The creative mediums adopted by GE Money for the ad campaign gave JAMES further mileage, reinforced brand awareness and brought about higher product recall. JAMES was revealed through an integrated campaign that left no customer touch point untouched. No customer touch point unturned.All the efforts helped to convey the core benefit of JAMES’ unique flexibility in empowering customers with the freedom to control their finances. The combination of mass-reaching (taxis, print and online ads) and high-impact mediums (MRT stations, buses and banners) added to make JAMES larger-than-life. As a result, JAMES became the talk of the town with extensive PR mileage and consumers actively sought James.“We are pleased to receive this award because we believe that JAMES offers Singaporean customers a unique personal loan experience,” said Mr. Alok Kumar, Chief Marketing Officer, GE Money Singapore.“ JAMES was designed leveraging on consumer insights. This served as a core platform in our advertising campaign, helping us achieve great results over the past 12 months.”“The unique and unconventional branding of JAMES has been well received by Singaporeans, and this will encourage us to continue our pursuit of innovation and creativity,” said Mr. Rahul Gupta, Chief Executive Officer, GE Money Singapore.

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