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So a while back, I wrote a post about the Commonwealth Bank in Australia and how they were at their most polite when they were sacking Goodby’s.
Anyway, the first work from their new agency, M&C Saatchi, has just been launched and while it’s basically an updated version of TSB’s ‘The Bank That Likes To Say Yes’ campaign, the thing that really grabbed my attention was when the press release stated that after many decades, the bank has updated their yellow and black colour template to include blue because – according to self promoting CMO, Andy Lark:
“We discovered women don’t respond to black and yellow very well.”
This sort of comment makes Andy Lark look like a fool.
Don’t get me wrong, colour plays a subliminal – and in some cases, substantial role – in influencing choice, however it’s rarely the dominant determining factor in decision making, especially where choosing a bank in concerned.
I’d say the reality was ‘women’ probably didn’t respond to dealing with a bank that offered bad customer service, charged them for every single interaction they made and were constantly being made to pay more for their mortgage.
Andy’s justification for updating the ‘logo’ highlights how egotistical and deluded marketing can be.
It’s like when Tropicana, the orange juice, changed their logo and received a huge backlash from their customers.
When they changed it back, the marketing director claimed it proved how passionate their customers were about the original brand design, but Professor Byron Sharp from the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science gave a much more realistic explanation:
“People couldn’t recognise the new packaging so didn’t see it on the supermarket shelves anymore”.
When approx 10% of all brand sales come from genuine brand loyalists – in other words, 90% come from casual or occasional purchasers – you start to realise the ‘truths’ the marketing and advertising community like to bandy about are not the same truths that exist in the real World.
A long time ago, people respected their bank.
A long time ago, people probably believed that a bank could ‘help you progress in life’ … however given the way financial institutions have been – and continue – to behave, it’s not exactly surprising why the public now view them as the enemy rather than the compatriot, which is why I think Commbank are going to have to do a damn sight more than change their logo and agency before people start to believe the words they’re spouting.
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