Sometimes advertising drives me insane. It’s capable of beautiful, artistic heights — but more often than not it’s derivative, patronising and simply thoughtless.
I’m thinking now of a TV spot currently running for the bank Halifax here in the UK. Fred Flintstone calls his current bank a dinosaur. It’s an open goal: surely Halifax will respond by talking about its innovation: its helpful new products, its intelligent security, its multichannel service, its revamped branch experience?
Nope. A middle-aged white guy in a suit welcomes Fred into a boring old bank branch with beige furniture and pot plants, and offers him £125 if he switches to Halifax.
No real mention of any differentiators, any real value (even including Halifax’s conventional “we give you extra”), or answering Fred’s problem with his current bank. Just a plain old cash incentive — and not even an innovative one; it’s the same switching incentive that all the banks have used for years.
I practically screamed out loud when I first saw the advert. There are truly new and interesting banks like Mondo and Atom starting up in the UK. And other banks are majoring on their tech experience and digital speed (even if they do so in a cheesy way, like Barclays and its digital eagles). Yet Halifax has used the word “dinosaur” and then delivered an offer that could be straight out of 1960 — it’s unbelievable. Or perhaps appropriate: after all, the Flintstones first aired in 1960, too.