Mo Banking Knowledge ‘On Your Internets’

Mo Rocca, a comedian and political satirist of some success, plays a man-on-the-street character in one of Bank of America’s latest promotions, “Mo on Banking.”

In a series of online videos at a microsite, Mo reports wryly on banking topics, including this tidbit from the intro video:

“Join me, Mo Rocca, as I dump a load
of banking knowledge on your internets.”

Yep, he said “internets.”

Here’s one of the videos to give you a better idea:

Throughout the series, Mo muses suggestively, and dupes people on New York streets with risque interview questions:

  • “Remember when going to the bank was sexy?”
  • “Did you ever imagine that banking could be this hot?”
  • “Imagine if we were making-out and you could mobile bank at the same time…”
  • “What would you say if I told you could transfer funds naked and check balances from bed?”
  • “I wanna talk to you about your banking fantasies.”

You’d think people would respond to any attempt to make banking less dull (i.e., more fun). As Matt Davis, the CU Warrior recently said, “‘Fun’ works and ‘controversy’ works.” But maybe in this case, B of A’s campaign isn’t clicking with everyone?

“I don’t want a funny bank.
I want adults in suits to take my money seriously.”
— B.L. Ochman

One person, a blogger named B.L. Ochman, complained, “I don’t want a funny bank. I also don’t want sexual innuendos in my bank’s advertising. I want adults in suits to take my money seriously.”

Reality Check: Let’s be honest. When it comes to your personal life (not your professional life as a financial brand builder), banking is pretty boring. For most of us, it’s a chore we’d rather not do.

Key Questions:

  • Are Mo Rocca’s innuendos over-the-top?
  • Is the attempt at being “hip and contemporary” authentic? Or does it feel forced?

You can view five different videos at a YouTube page the bank created to support its Mo-promo.

Each segment concludes with the campaign’s catchphrase, “Bank the way you live.”

“Mo Rocca on Banking” joins “America’s Cheer 2008”(previous coverage from The Financial Brand here) as an example of B of A’s recent online marketing focus.

Excerpts from Bank of America’s press release to bloggers about their “Mo on Banking” promotion

Mo Rocca has tackled some of televisions finest comedy programs. Now, the popular comedian is bringing banking to the people in a series of exclusive web videos that feature “Mo on Banking”. Known for his unique “man on the street” interviews, Mo is out and about in New York City, hoping to find out how others handle their finances. And, with his unique wit and sly humor, Mo makes sure that this is not like any financial inquiry you’ve ever seen!

Not just interested in the personal banking habits of those he speaks to, the friendly comedian also brings everyday life into the conversation. He hits the streets to ask people what they do when they run out of the one thing they need or how quickly they are alerted if something unexpected happens. After all, when else would you hear Mo Rocca ask “What do you use for protection?”

With questions like these, the series of web videos makes sure that you remember exactly what it means when a bank teller asks you if you are signed up for “overdraft protection” and “mobile alerts”.

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