Imagine a world in which big banks actually had to create good advertising — a world where they didn’t sit high above Uncle Sam’s perpetual safety net.
Today, it’s accepted that certain banks are “too big to fail.”
The big banks have it made.
They get endless rivers of cash from Sugar Daddy Sam while facing no risk or consequences from their actions, like continuing to load up on toxic derivatives.
If they “win” they reap the rewards. If they lose, they can always fall back on Joe Tax Payer and Uncle Ben Bernanke.
Meanwhile, banks continue to squeeze the life out of small businesses by cutting their credit lines to the bone.
This wasn’t the way it always was, though it’s hard to remember a time before this.
This ad from a quarter century ago is proof that once upon a time, banks actually gave the appearance of caring…both about their customers and their advertising.
Anyone who lived in the New York Metropolitan area will remember the television ads for the Bowery Bank, featuring New York Yankee Hall-Of-Famer, Joe DiMaggio.
Here’s a print ad that’s just as memorable for copywriters.
It’s certainly something you wouldn’t see in 2010 — a long copy ad that pushes the product and plays the role of helpful adviser by demystifying the process of choosing certificates of deposit.
I really liked this copy from the middle column.
The other day, an ad in this paper promised CDs so rich that we had to read every word. Had a competitor gotten the drop on us?
Not at all. We had a lawyer decipher the 125-word footnote, written in the teeny-weeny size ad people call “mouse type.” The big numbers up above didn’t look so big after that.
Look before you leap. Read the footnotes first and ask lots of questions at the bank.
The Bowery would rather see you walk away from a deal you didn’t like than sign you up for one you misunderstood. The Bowery’s promise: the whole story every time.
The Bowery was gobbled up long ago by a chain of ever larger acquiring banks but good advertising remains timeless.
The info premium, “10 Ways To Make Your Money Worth More,” was offered countless times in their print advertising.
Click here for the PDF of “A Bill Of Rights For CD Buyers.”
Jeffry Pilcher | TheFinancialBrand.com says
As a former creative director and copywriter who worked exclusively in the financial industry for over a decade, I can say that I’ve seen both ends of the financial marketing spectrum: from dismal and pathetic all the way up to stellar breakthroughs. There is indeed a fair amount of dreadful advertising coming from the financial industry, but it’s not all bad — just like in any industry where there are usually only a few savvy marketers. There is a lot of interesting stuff too. You can find all kinds of creative+effective bank marketing examples at TheFinancialBrand.com.
One of the reasons people notice more bad bank advertising is the fact that there are so many different financial institutions slamming you with ads. In other industries, there usually aren’t so many competitors slugging it out for your business.
Jeff Kuns says
LOL… Sugar Daddy Sam. Too bad nobody read the footnotes first and asked lots of questions this time.
A very good example of a compelling Headline “Bill Of Rights For CD Buyers” This title is a great curiosity lede in a sense that all banks are not eqaul a a “Bill Of Rights” so to speak reminds people of their rights-in case one forgot;) By choosing Bowery Customers could tailor make their CD account rather than the genral “off the rack” CD fanancial service. This makes Bowery stand out from their competitors.
I really like the way this copy was put together as it really gave it’s reader useful information that differentiated Bowery from it’s competitors.