BankerSpank: Cute, But Ineffective


A series of ads on parodies the PC/Mac ads, this time with Bank and Credit Union.

They’re cute ads…but they won’t drive any business a credit union’s way.

One reason why Apple fanatics are devoted to the brand is that they see themselves as different from the stuff-shirted, boring business types who use PCs. The PC/Mac ads capture and celebrate that self-perception.

But do credit union members see themselves as being different from bank customers? Or do they prefer to do business with credit unions because of the superior service they receive? (I’m betting on the latter).

Credit union execs will fall in love with these ads a lot faster than consumers will. And, yes — some bank will sue for “unfair advertising practices.”


7 thoughts on “BankerSpank: Cute, But Ineffective

  1. Good call. I watched them once and, like you, thought, “hey, that’s cute,” which isn’t a full-on compliment. I haven’t watched them again, and I work with credit unions.

    I’d think banks would retaliate if only anyone other than CU staff members passed these around. It’s not impossible for that to happen (stranger things have gone “viral”, and maybe “stranger” is the operative term), but count it a very long shot.

    That being said, I believe credit unions should position themselves as being as different from banks as OS X is from Windows XP. I just don’t believe this message will last beyond its fifteen seconds of inter-CU listserv fame.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Trey (I’ve been over to your site — good stuff there).

    I was joking when I said a bank would sue. It was intended to be a swipe at the tactics banks pursue against CUs from a regulatory perspective. It’s like Goliath complaining that David has an unfair advantage because he’s smaller and can move faster.

    And I agree about how CUs should position themselves. It’s about how THEY’RE different from banks — not how their member are different.

  3. Should’ve clarified my retaliate comment, too, as we’re on the same page – I was talking not in a “sue you” way, but in a sort of way. “Let’s launch a new make-fun-of-you campaign! That’ll get people on our side of the cause!”

    I snort-laughed when I read the Goliath v David line, btw.

  4. I liked the ads and, yes, I work with credit unions. They DO emphasize the difference between credit unions and Banks; isn’t that the point?

    Having said that, I agree they won’t have any legs beyond CU employees and Boards getting a good laugh. Not because I don’t think they’re effective, but because we (CU’s) don’t do enough to support that notion we are as different from Banks as MAC’s are from PC’s.

  5. I think you’ve completely missed the point of these ads. The Apple spots are cute, too, but they speak to current Apple users, confirming their happy circle of coolness. Apple isn’t trying to change a brand perceptiom, its just confirming one … and that’s about as difficult as shooting fish in a barrel. It seem these spots aim to change a peception, which is much, much harder. My personal perception of credit unions is of an old, stodgy organization my grandfather joined at his factory job. Maybe that perception is a barrier to credit union’s growing their business. If credit unions are different today, then I’m assming these ads are meeting a brand objective. Maybe the goal is to first chip away at changing a brand perception, then later on employ other tactics to generate new customers. Just a thought.

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