The Five S’s: Safe, Strong, Stable, Secure, Sound

So you’re thinking about running a “safe and sound” campaign? Here are some various perspectives to ponder as you craft your strategy.


Financial marketers are unsure about what to say:

“The situation is so fluid, it’s hard to figure out what message to
put out today that would be relevant tomorrow morning.”

Matthew Harrington, US Chief Exec/Edelman Public Relations


There’s concern about fear-mongering:

“We wanted to strike the proper tone
between being informative and being alarmist.”

Andrew Gray, Public Affairs Director/FDIC


Some people are okay with scaring the begeezus out of people.
Fear is a powerful motivator, so don’t be afraid to use it:

“Ads should tell people with money:
‘There is every reason to worry. That’s why we’re here.’”

Gary Stibel in the New York Times



One expert warns that a message of reassurance could backfire:

“The last thing that customers need is a
‘everything is OK, trust us’ approach.
That will definitely get them worried.”

— Martin Bishop, Brand Mix


Some endorse a return to boring banking. Wrong.
Sharing your Five S story does not mean you have to be boring and lifeless.

“There’s something to be said for the old, conservative,
traditional banking model. The stodgy old businessmen may not
be fun and give you deals, but they give you…security.”

— The AP’s Emily Fredrix


It’s tough trying to figure it all out:

“It’s hard to be reassuring when
nobody knows how it will all pan out.”

Rebecca Saeger, Charles Schwab EVP/CMO


There’s a lot of disagreement about what to say and how to sell the Five S’s, but pretty much everyone agrees on this:

“This is not the time for keeping to the course.”

Gary M. Stibel, chief executive at the New England Consulting Group

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