Retail Banking Videos On YouTube: Weird, Wacky & Wonderful

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What’s the latest in retail banking on YouTube? Well, there’s been a little bit of everything — from serious branding spots to zany video skits starring. A live goat… a Jack Nicholson impersonation… even a gun-shooting loan processor.

So That’s What You Get For Being Courteous…?

Have you ever done anything nice for someone only to regret it later? Like let someone in line at the grocery store go ahead of you because they only have one item? Yeah, and then they win $50,000 for being the store’s millionth customer… “People don’t like to miss out on money that shoulda been theirs,” the announcer says. “That’s why at Ally Bank we have the ‘Raise Your Rate’ 2-year CD.” The humor in this 30-second TV spot is a bit cynical, as many guerilla stunts often are.

Lie Detector Tests Footballers in Honesty Challenge

NAB sponsors Australia’s football league. To help position itself as an honest bank, NAB hooked up a lie detector to a bunch of the league’s top players and then asked them a series of questions — many of them personal, sensitive and even controversial. “Are you the best player on your team?” “Have you ever had a treatment to make your hair grow back?” “Will this year be your last?” The technician running the lie detector in the background give the thumbs up for every honest answer, which earns a $100 donation to the footballer’s favorite charity. The whole thing is presented like a game show. It’s fun, edgy and extremely entertaining, even if you know nothing about Aussie sport.

We Even Blog!

First Tech FCU boasts about its blog in this 30-second television commercial. “We don’t behave exactly how a financial institution is supposed to behave,” the fictional spokesman says emphatically. “We actually listen. We work hard to make your banking as effortless as possible. We even blog. Is this a bank or is this a revolution. Trick question. It’s a credit union actually.” The video has been viewed 278,000 times on YouTube.

In another TV spot, First Tech FCU demonstrates its responsive approach to member service with this humorous campaign. When members said they wanted envelope-free ATMs, the credit union listened. First Tech does draw the line, however, vetoing the idea of a free basket of kittens with every transaction (as “ridiculously adorable” as they may be).

Don’t Feed The Goat

Actor Curtis Armstrong performs a skit on behalf of First Entertainment, a credit union targeting the Hollywood crowd. Armstrong, who is perhaps best known for a line in Risky Business (“Sometimes Joel, you just have to say WTF?”), uses a real live goat as a metaphor for pointless bank fees. One bill after another is fed to the goat — he’s a fee eater, and he can’t get enough.

You’d Never See This 20 Years Ago

This 30-second TV commercial for Alabama Telco Credit Union has no script, no narration and mentions nothing about accounts, products or banking at all (except one quick flash that says “Better Rates”). It’s basically a 30-second music video with a bunch of upbeat lifestyle imagery. Twenty years ago, the idea of a credit unions running a branding spot like this was unthinkable.

Easy Like Sunday Morning

A 30-second branding spot for Allegacy FCU. It’s a typical, peaceful Sunday morning. The kids giggle as they play in the backyard. An announcer calmly says, “Knowing your money is right where you need it to be — smart. Knowing anyone can join Allegacy — smarter. See how Allegacy is unlike your bank.”

The S Word

A crazy, creative claymation style video from IC Federal Credit Union that bleeps the word s*#@%^$ throughout. The video has been viewed over 6,500 times, with 107 likes and only 8 dislikes.

How Innovative?

Very rarely do you see a bank bragging about its innovativeness. In this mini-documentary, Deutsche Bank recaps a one-day innovation workshop it held at the University of Cologne. Around 20 students were asked to develop banking solutions for the future. The workshop yielded social media strategies, mobile applications and other customer experience innovations. The students stress how impressed they were with Deutsche’s emphasis on creativity, and Deutsche employees talk about the importance of innovation and the bank’s approach… but no actual ideas are explored. It would have been nice to see how the bank was solving actual customer problems instead of just talking about it.

Phone Tree

Ally Bank hits a major customer pain point in this 30-second TV spot — people’s frustrations with automated phone trees — allowing the bank to tout one of its major points of differentiation: 24/7 live customer support.

You Can’t Handle The Deposit

Affinity Bank put together this 3-minute parody of Jack Nicholson’s famous scene as Colonel Jessup in “A Few Good Men.” The altered script swaps one autocracy for another — insensitive, fee-happy big banks in lieu of the warped, overzealous rogue Marines. The impersonation of Jack is the best part. Prior to this article, the video had only been seen 35 times.

Deep Pockets

A man walks down a city sidewalk toting about 20 pounds of change in his pants pockets. The coins jingle with each step he takes. He looks ridiculous, but the exaggeration makes a point: Customers can earn “more cash back” with their Scotiabank Momentum card. The efficient 15-second spot (rarely seen these days) has been viewed 831,000 times.

The Splendor of Wichita

You can be forgiven for not associating words like “noble” and “resplendent” with a place like Wichita, Kansas. But after watching this one-minute commercial for Fidelity Bank, you might think Wichita is the official capital of the American Dream. Will city dwellers appreciate the rosy perspective on their Midwestern metropolis? Or will they resist the message as unctuous pandering?

Shooting Guns and Processing Loans

Stephanie Casey, a loan processor who’s been with Coast Central Credit Union for 13 years, is also a gun enthusiast. This 30-second TV spot profiles the middle-aged target shooting expert as she makes analogies between her hobby and processing loans — quick and accurate. It’s trying very hard to be sincere, but the message is likely being overwhelmed by all the costumes and bullets.

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