Written in Ink
Written in Ink
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Why Are Bank Ads So Stupid?

I have mentioned a couple of times that I mostly watch streaming television, so apologies if these ads aren't as ubiquitous over the air, but I've been subjected to them so much, I have to ask why recent bank ads have been so dumb.

First up, one from Wells Fargo where they're trying to sell the "personal banker" concept by having one describe what he did for someone else to a couple of people who couldn't care less. I know that if I were to sit down to talk to someone about a savings plan, I would want one tailored to me, not hear a story about someone I had never met pursuing a different dream.

Next is a very problematic ad from Discover Card.

The "do I sound pleasant" is really cute, but both of the ads in this series depict someone seeing a free service on Discover's website, then calling them up to say that they saw it or to ask if it's new. We might be tempted to call Nick Denton to complain about Kinja, but I doubt someone will phone him to ask whether the checkmark on the avatar of those we're following are new.


Doubling down and making this one worse than the other is the fact that the operator points to her screen and says that the caller has a specific card, which means the customer's info is displayed, but not only does she not notice that it's her sister's name, she looks down and off to the side when trying to place the voice.

And finally, I'm not quickly finding a Youtube, but the Bank of America about the guy tearing apart his dorm room to find a check from Grandma is really dumb. If he wasn't going to beam the money to the pizza delivery person or pay with a debit, why was it so important for him to find the check at the time? Was he going to refuse delivery and keep his cash?


Of course driving this last one home for me is that once again, I've lost a check made out to me. (I double-paid a bill) I've never banked at NCNB/NationsBank/BofA and I'm pretty happy with my credit union, but I would totally use that picture-taking app because a good gamble for someone trying to pay me is to mail me a check. It doesn't happen very often because most everything I do is electronic, but I'd say that if you were to mail me a check, there's probably a one in four chance that I'll forget about or lose the thing.

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