Curious to see how banks and credit unions have been using YouTube lately? Here’s a dozen examples of noteworthy videos uploaded by financial institutions.
Boys choir sings options for automated phone tree
DNB recruited Norway’s most famous choir, the Norwegian Broadcasting Boys Choir, to sing all of the messages for its automated, touch-tone telebank. For the entire Christmas season, every word on DNB’s phone banking system was sung by angelic voices. The concept is brilliant, the execution is beautiful.
DNB – “Merry Paycheck” (Documentary)
Deutsche Bank guerilla experiment mocks ridiculous fees
This gutsy guerilla stunt from Deutsche Bank aims right at consumers’ pain points: fees and charges specifically in the financial industry that many people feel are absurd. In one experiment, a small boutique bakery introduces a one euro “entry fee” — just for walking in the door. Those who pay are surprised to learn there is also a one euro “exit fee.” Deutsche filmed a second experiment at a supermarket, where patrons were charged for things like using the conveyor belt in the checkout line and printing a receipt. It’s over the top, but it makes the point. Spot 1 (Bakery) | Spot 2 (Supermarket)
Deutsche Bank (Belgium) – “Bakery With Entry/Exit Fees”
Mom gets massage and makeover from bank
This two-minute video from Sainsbury Bank starts out like a documentary about the life of a busy mother. She’s a hardworking woman, but clearly worn out from her dedication to her three young children. Sainsbury ambushes her with their Makeover Mobile, a spa on wheels. She’s a lovely person, so you feel really good for her at the end when she steps out looking beautiful. Her expressions of appreciation are subtle, but incredibly powerful; it’s very engaging. It’s rare to see banks capture such emotion in their marketing.
Sainsbury Bank – “A Break From Mom’s Boredom & Monotony”
Yo, check out this $ vid from US Bank!
California teens Leo Moneymaker and Alex Colucci star as rappers “Young Muny” and “Lil’ Savings” in this cheesy-but-funny parody. It’s pretty good. In fact, the production was good enough that it took second place in the national “Lights, Camera, Save!” contest sponsored by the ABA Education Foundation. For financial education, it doesn’t get much more entertaining than this.
US Bank – “Don’t Forget ‘Bout Ya Debt!”
Bank to viewers: ‘Don’t watch our boring Super Bowl spot’
FirstBank knew it would be tough — if not impossible — to compete with the multi-million dollar Super Bowl productions aired by big advertisers. So for their first-ever Super Bowl spot, the Colorado bank went low-budget: one guy sitting in one chair filmed in one shot. The man says, “At FirstBank, customer service is our priority. So if you’re a FirstBank customer worried about missing one of the exciting commercials, or the game, now would be a great time to go to the bathroom… Seriously.”
The ad is, in a sense, an implicit concession that banking is so dull it could never hope to compete with real entertainment. “It’s okay, we understand. Run along. It won’t hurt our feelings,” the bank seems to be saying, almost like those wallflowers at parties who know they aren’t popular. “We acknowledge that there is nothing we could say that would interest you (at least right now).” The audience laughs at the bank waving the white flag of surrender. It is this inherently cynical sense of self-deprecation that makes the spot funny.
As one of the more creative Super Bowl spots in the class of 2012, it garnered FirstBank a significant level of attention, particularly during the pre-game run up. Creative credits go to TDA_Boulder.
FirstBank – “Take a Bathroom Break”
Where’d that sucker come from?
This three-and-a-half minute production retraces a day in the life of a man handing out an armful of suckers… all in reverse. Republic Bank shot the video in locations around downtown Louisville, the bank’s backyard. It’s obvious Republic put time and energy into this elaborate trick, so they owe it to themselves to get the video more exposure. It’s only been viewed 2,400 times so far.
Republic Bank – “Sharing Smiles”
Philip Seymour Hoffman directs bank’s Super Bowl spots
Celebrity actor Philip Seymour Hoffman made his directorial debut in advertising with two spots for People’s United Bank. The first of two ads debuted on NBC networks across New England during Super Bowl XLVI. They featured the new People’s United tagline, “What Know-How Can Do.”
The campaign highlights the traits of “empathy” and “expertise.” The new commercials tell stories that illustrate that spirit of “know-how,” following a People’s United banker who, on the way to work, observes and solves small problems and helps people along the way, cheerfully and without hesitation. Spot 1 | Spot 2
People’s United Bank – “Walk To Work”
Guy falls from plane… kersplatt! Must be a good time to evaluate banking choices
This spot is just plain weird. A man is sucked out of a commercial airliner. As he plummets to his inevitable doom, he ponders his life. Would he do it all over again the same way? Same wife? Same job? Thud! He hits the ground… but miraculously survives! It’s too soon for celebrations though, as a pair of angry wolves start to circle. If the man gets another second-chance at life, would he choose the same bank? Or would he choose to do more with his money? Fortunately, the wolves are crushed by debris falling from the plane, so the man still has the opportunity to switch banks.
For all the stunts, action and special effects, the glitz isn’t enough to disguise the ad’s itchy non sequiturs. Paraphrasing, “If you were dying, you wouldn’t want to count your bank among your regrets. So switch banks, before it’s too late.” The threat of mortality has sparked many life-changing epiphanies, but the choice of one’s financial institution is not among them. The spot was supposed to come across as humorous, but it feels more absurd than anything.
UBank – “Since Today”
BMO Harris gives savings tip with ‘Vacation Jar’
Some bank spots reveal insights about life or human nature, while other banks’ TV ads focus exclusively on products or features. It’s rare that you ever see a bank commercial that does both. If you’ve ever had a savings jar (goal-specific piggybanks for adults), then you can relate to this ad’s narrative. A bank advertising unique services that solve real problems for real people? What a novel concept!
BMO Harris – “Vacation Jar”
Wacky cartoon pits credit unions against big banks
IC Federal Credit Union put together this peculiar 6-minute cartoon portraying big banks as villains dominating a futuristic world. The plot shares the same childlike innocence you’d find in a Burl Ives Christmas show, while the animation might remind you of something you’d see on an after school special back in the 70s. While the video succeeds at communicating its intended message, some viewers may question the appropriateness of the cartoonish storytelling technique.
IC Federal Credit Union – “Credit Unions vs. Big Banks”
Meet TaMI (Ms. Too Much Information)
Tami is a cybercriminal’s dream come true. She’s the star of four new banking security awareness videos US Bank is sharing via Facebook and YouTube. These aren’t repurposed commercials; this is a made-for-the-web production specifically for an online financial education program.
In the videos, Tami’s loose lips cause her to share confidential banking information with just about anyone in earshot. She learns the basics of online security when she joins an “Oversharers Anonymous” support group.
US Bank – “Oversharers Anonymous: Session One”
Proponents of BofA Breakup put their feelings into song
A consumer advocacy group founded by Ralph Nader calls for the breakup of megabank BofA… in a musical number. The animated video depicts Ken Lewis, Brian Moynihan and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, while a chorus of singers pillories the bank with a parody of Neil Sedaka’s hit, “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do.”
Creators of the online attack surely hoped the video would go viral, but with only 22,000 views, it seems to have fallen flat. Perhaps because it’s only so-so, and not as funny as it could have been.
Public Citizen – “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do”