The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!
From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards

Vigil Aunty

Winner in Financial Services

Finalist in Vertical Video

Bronze Honor in Public Service Announcement



India’s digital economy has been growing rapidly. However, exploiting the lack of digital education among a large section of society, faceless cyber criminals come and rob us financially. By the time the masses become aware and are educated of the preventive measures of one fraud, newer and advanced frauds are introduced by conmen.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data 2021-22, shows total banking frauds to the tune of ₹60,414 crore. These numbers have only increased over the years.

HDFC Bank being India’s largest private sector bank realized that a one-time campaign will not help solve the problem.

Hence, we decided to start an ongoing communication on the latest frauds and its preventive measures, continuously reminding Indians to stay alert.


Similar to Shaktiman, Mr.India, Lola Kutty, we had to craft a likeable character who would leave a lasting impression on the audiences. We chalked every detail to create the first ever anti-fraud influencer - Vigil Aunty.

Like any other superhero, she had an origin story. An ordinary woman from southern India, frustrated with growing frauds in the country, decided to become a saviour against financial frauds for the nation.

A signature blue and red saree, a bindi designed to be her sigil, and relentless hiccups around any fraud as her superpower,

A walking encyclopedia of the latest frauds, the villain to every fraudster’s story, and the torchbearer of ‘Always Stay Vigil’. She entertained the masses with her quirkiness, as she taught the nation how to avoid getting frauded.


Strategy and Execution

With the increased adoption of online banking across Indian geographies, conmen were orchestrating newer ways of defrauding people off their hard earned money. We needed to put into place an ongoing mechanism of educating consumers, that appealed to all Indians and resonated with two key sets of audiences.

(1) The Millennials and GenZ who are digitally native are targeted through social media

(2) The vulnerable GenX who don't frequent social media but are active on WhatsApp. 

Vigil Aunty used humour to appeal to both groups, while her personality was consciously crafted to educate and entertain the whole nation. 

Vigil Aunty was omnipresent. From social platforms, WhatsApp, ATM kiosks, to movie theatres, and national newspapers. She constantly and frequently delivered latest updates on frauds and how to be vigilant (prevent them).



We introduced Vigil Aunty at the movies, where people would least expect to be frauded. Audiences saw a QR code to scan for 'a free popcorn’ only to have Vigil Aunty 'pop-con' them and teach the consequences of scanning a random QR code.

Covering 850 screens nationwide, the activation immediately made Vigil Aunty the talk of the town and got audiences to follow her on social platforms and WhatsApp.


Vigil Aunty's always-on communication 'Stay Vigil' involved her using social platforms to educate (while entertaining) audiences with various content formats. 

1) A celebrity talk show, ‘What The Fraud’ to showcase that even the best of the best can be conned.

2) Her 'Fraud Patrol' series dissected a new fraud incident weekly  

3) Collaboration with popular influencers and latest trends


Realizing one may still need continuous assistance, we introduced a 24x7 Vigil Aunty WhatsApp Chatbot.



In a span of 5 months, Vigil Aunty became extremely popular on social media. From GenX to GenZ, Vigil Aunty was recognized by everyone as a anti-fraud influencer.

She amassed 1.9 Million followers across platforms. Her content garnered 165 Million video views, a reach of 130 Million, and an overall engagement of 4.8 Million.

Vigil Aunty's WhatsApp Chatbot had a userbase of 130 Thousand and saw more than a Million interactions. 

Vigil Aunty helped increase positive sentiment by 26% for HDFC Bank.

Beyond winning the hearts of all, Vigil Aunty set the benchmark for competitor brands when it came to PSA campaigns. And, even inspired spoofs of Vigil Aunty, making her a true pop-culture icon.



Video for Vigil Aunty

Entrant Company / Organization Name

FCB Kinnect, HDFC Bank