Archive for the ‘banking’ category

Let’s Be Frank: Harris Bank’s Ads Are Off-Key

June 6th, 2011

The essence of effective branding is to have a good story to tell (i.e., good strategy) and to tell it well (i.e., good creativity).  Harris Bank’s TV campaign has neither.

Unfortunately, this is just one of thousands of campaigns that are wasting advertiser (and shareholder)  money.  The problem:  the advertiser either doesn’t offer any unique benefits, or it does but its agency doesn’t know what they are or how to convey them.

In the case of the Harris campaign, there is absolutely nothing being conveyed to make you think that this is a special bank.  The only spoken words–and they don’t appear until the very end–are, “You can see it.  Harris can help make it happen.”  Oh really? How?  What is it about Harris that makes it better able to help than the other thousand-plus banks I have to choose from?

And even if they did have a compelling reason for you to believe that the bank is special, you probably wouldn’t remember what bank they’re talking about.  You only hear its name twice, again at the end of the spot.  And  it’s not like there’s a dramatic build-up that has you sitting on the edge of your seat dying to learn who the advertiser is.

The only good thing about the campaign–and the only reason I noticed it in the first place–is that it features a song by one of my two favorite New Jersey-born singers.  Unfortunately, its lyrics  are  mostly irrelevant to the campaign’s ostensible message.  (“I’m so in love!” Seriously?)

Actually, next time Harris would be better off just playing a 30-second video of Frank Sinatra singing.  That wouldn’t tell us any less about the bank than we already know, and it might make us like them just a bit more.