Filed under: Comment
“Goodby Silverstein & Partners won the Commonwealth Bank business over four years ago and have lead the Bank’s core creative work during a time in which Commonwealth Bank ascended to the #1 banking brand in Australia. Jeff and the team had established themselves as friends and valued partners to the Bank. Their impact will be felt well into the future.”
… and then this …
“Goodby have done absolutely fantastic work over the past four years. We couldn’t be happier.”
That gushing praise comes from Commonwealth Bank Of Australia Chief Marketing and Online Officer, Andy Lark.
Not bad eh?
Seriously, if you were at an agency and one of your key clients said that, I’d bet you’d be pretty chuffed … except these words are pretty empty, because they were said just after the Commbank had ditched Goodby and replaced them with M&C Saatchi Australia instead.
Put aside the fact it was always going to be hard to have an agency based thousands of miles away from the client [despite Goodby opening a satellite office in, I think, Sydney] … put aside the fact the reason most banks hire ad agencies is to make them less hated rather than to make more cash … put aside the fact that over the 5 years, the ads that were made caused a lot of controvery in the Australian marketplace and instead, focus on the bullshit platitudes being showered over the agency deemed ‘not good enough’.
I appreciate no one wants to leave a nasty taste in people’s mouths … they want to be professional, responsible and reasonable … but those two quotes are the equivalent of divorcing your wife and leaving her with these parting words of wisdom:
“I love you more than life itself. You are the most perfect person in the World. You make me happier than I ever thought possible. You are my rock, my soulmate, my love. Nothing will ever be able to shadow the brilliance of you.”
Utter, utter bullshit.
Whether it’s for valid reasons or not, Commbank decided they didn’t want Goody’s anymore.
That’s disappointing, but it happens.
Sure, it happens a bit too often for my liking, but in these days where a couple will reach for their divorce lawyers phone number if someone has burnt the toast, it’s not that surprising to see so many corporations following the same fickle attitude to ‘relationships’.
Now I appreciate at highly volatile times, no one wants to be seen as either callous or the ‘bad guy’ … however publically smothering the injured party with praise doesn’t actually help because they end up going, “SO WHY THE FUCK DID YOU DITCH US THEN?”
Of course no one actually say’s that out loud because there’s a fear it might scare another brand from working with them … but what it all ends up meaning is you can’t actually trust anything anyone says anymore.
Is a compliment a compliment, or a precursor to execution?
Is an insult an insult, or really a sign of support & belief?
When they say they like you, are they really checking out someone else?
No one likes being told they’re wrong, bad, horrid or finished … but it’s better than being taken out back, shot in the head and then told everything you’d done was wonderful.
As with most things, ‘how you say it’ is the key, but adopting a stance of unconditional love when you’ve either just ended a relationship – or about to end a relationship – doesn’t do anyone any good, except maybe the person who instigated it all, who can now go to bed in the deluded knowledge that everyone is still happy and are still friends.
I’m not suggesting people should be nasty or intimidating or downright horrible when they’re considering – or have broken up – a corporate relationship [even though it would be bloody awesome to read] but a bit more honesty, and clarity would go a long way … especially if we want society to start believing what adland communicates to them rather than view it as the actions of con merchants.
43 Comments so far
Leave a comment