Creative Showcase: Sign Spinner, Bank Bashing, More…

A portfolio of 18 unique, unusual and noteworthy creative marketing initiatives from banks and credit unions around the world. Enjoy!

Commonwealth Bank – Community Grants

This is one of the more interesting narrative techniques you’ll see in bank advertising, even if it’s a little hard to tell what Commonwealth wants you to know. The ad is for the bank’s Staff Community Fund, something supported by donations from current and retired bank staff used to help youth programs. Each year the bank give grants of up to $10,000 to organizations, and will give a total of $550,000 in 2010. Ironically, the spot (about taking care of Australian organizations) was produced by an American ad agency. The campaign runs until the end of the year, and includes print, outdoor and a 3D cinema ads. It sounds like the campaign letting people how much the bank gives away might cost more than the actual money the bank gives away.

( Editor’s Note: This YouTube video is no longer available. )

TD Bank – Sign Spinner

If you must hire human billboards, at least hire someone like this guy. He’s pretty good, and fun to watch.

( Editor’s Note: This YouTube video is no longer available. )

Harborstone Credit Union – Bank is a Four-Letter Word

A bank-bashing billboard with the look and feel of a D.A.R.E. anti-drug campaign, encouraging people to “Choose the unbank.”

Star Choice Credit Union – Bank Breakup

A double-sided postcard inviting recipients to break up with their big bank.

Al Rajhi Bank – Counter-Recession Campaign

A biting — albiet artistically illustrated — assault at one’s competitors. Source: Eric Chia.

SCE Federal Credit Union – Join Us

This is a weird ad. It doesn’t promote any product or service, just the concept of joining, even though membership is worthless on its own. The woman featured in this ad doesn’t look very upset considering she is supposedly complaining about banking. And it isn’t immediately clear how the body copy pays off the headline: “When you join SCE, you become part owner of a financial institution owned by you and your neighbors.” So I become part owner of something I own? Also note the use of two slogans, “People Powered Banking,” and “Your Financial Choice in the Community.” It’s ads like these that lead finance departments to question marketing’s efficacy. There’s nothing that can be tracked.

PeoplesBank – Member, Human Race

An billboard from 1976. Good copy in bank ads is a rare thing.

Home Federal Bank – Capital

Holy cow! This bank has 34.6% capital. Some experts in bank finance would say that is about as silly as reckless mortgage lending. Despite having a singular focus for the first two-thirds of the ad — capital, capital, capital — someone still couldn’t resist squeezing in a secondary message about branch locations…along with a complete list of all 15 branches.

Chase Manhattan Bank – Beekeeper’s Nest Egg

The “nest egg” meme has been exploited by financial marketers since at least 1966 when this ad ran.

Isbank – Police Car Billboard

This billboard promoting online banking for Isbank in Islamabad has a life-size cutout of a police car sitting under the headline, “Pay traffic tickets on time without waiting in line.” Source: The Cool Hunter.

Citizens Bank – Happy Together

15 business banking customers sing the Turtle’s 1967 hit single “Happy Together” in a karaoke montage supporting this 2008 Citizens campaign.

( Editor’s Note: This YouTube video is no longer available. )

Allegiance Credit Union – Bringing Sexy Bank

We’ve seen music videos pitting banks vs. credit unions before, but not quite this way.

( Editor’s Note: This YouTube video is no longer available. )

Lloyds TSB – LGBT Marketing

It’s subtle, but the two people in this bank advert are guys…and they are a couple (gasp!). This massive target audience is almost always ignored by financial institutions. The last line of the ad says, “Lloyds TSB is pleased to help our LGBT customers with their savings needs.” Note: The artwork is an illustration. It probably would have been a lot more controversial if it had been a photo.

Ally Bank – Ice Cream

Another installment in the ever-popular Ally Bank TV ad series. In this one, Ally attacks bank promotional incentives: “Even kids know it’s wrong to treat new friends better than old friends.” It isn’t as funny as others. Ally seems to have forgotten that the kids’ reactions are funnier than the situations/messages themselves.

( Editor’s Note: This YouTube video is no longer available. )

Farmers First Bank & Trust – Almanac

For its 125th anniversary Farmers First Bank & Trust produced an Almanac, and an Annual Report, both of which borrowed elements of the visual style of farmers’ almanacs from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Almanac recounting the Bank’s timeline and history from 1885 to present was written in collaboration with the Bank’s resident historian,Tade J. Powell. Agency: Sundin.

Deutsche Bank – iPad Ready

One of the first financial institutions in the world to tout an iPad-specific application in its marketing.

BECU – Switch Now or Pay Later

The headline in this ad spotted on the back of an in-flight magazine uses a slight turn of phrase to strike fear in readers. The subhead says, “Join BECU today, get a better deal from now on.”

Seasons FCU – Vehicle Wrap

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