Brand: Commerce Bank
Link: Not Available
Target: Frustrated Consumers
The spot starts with “Stupid vs. Smart – Lesson #1″ then proceeds to let people know that Commerce Bank has ‘No stupid hours’ and ‘No stupid rules’. It follows with a simple list of features including 7-day banking, extended hours, free coin counting, free checking, free online banking, etc. It ends with the phrase “America’s Most Convenient Bank.”
It is becoming axiomatic among marketers that nowadays, advertising rarely persuades. People persuade and advertising reminds the persuaded to try or re-experience the brand. This spot is a good example. Commerce Bank has not made its name through advertising. Instead, the advertising is reminding us about what we might have heard from friends or colleagues about this little bank breaking all of the rules.
Here is what works so well in this spot:
- Commerce tells the truth we feel – Most banks exist to serve their employees, not their customers. Why? Because they are open during hours which allow their employees to have normal work schedules, but make no sense for 80% of the rest of us. Can you imagine a McDonalds surviving if they were only open from 9am to 5pm, M-F and until noon on Saturday? Or even a GAP, for that matter? This syndrome is so bad that we actually have a name for it – “Banker’s Hours.” By calling these rules “Stupid,” Commerce shocks, but also say what we already believe. Commerce is simultaneously breaking the rules and letting consumers know that they are not crazy to want convenient banking.
- Commerce has a focused brand positioning – and they are in a good position to own ‘convenience.’ Fortunately, they’re executing this in a memorable, anti-establishment way which will make it hard for a bank like Citibank to talk about more ATMs or better credit cards.
- Clear, Straightforward Execution – Just as we saw with Whirlpool (Click Here), this spot is almost like shooting the brand positioning statement. We have the user (frustrated consumers) the frame of reference (just like Whirlpool, Commerce treats themselves as a way to Get Things Done, not as a Banking provider – which is a good insight in itself), the meaningful difference (smart rules) and the permission to believe (7-day banking, free coin counting, free checking, extended hours, etc.) And just as with the Whirlpool spot, it’s all you need.
Commerce should make their advertising edgier and more memorable. This spot, while very effective, is not nearly as iconic as the iPod commercials. Yet Commerce as a brand has every chance of becoming the David that topples the ‘Stupid rules’ of the goliath banks just as iPod revolutionized music. Commerce needs to remember that what separates their bank from the others is attituded (Stupid vs. Smart) and not features and benefits. Extended hours, 7-day banking, coin counting – these are all things that can be matched by other banks. “Getting it” is something that will be hard for any other bank to own once Commerce locks it up. The spots need to emotionally convey this attitude. It is not that this is missing now – it could just be stronger. The goal is for the consumer to watch the spot and remember that her best friend told her that she should try this cool new bank – Commerce.
Branding Bottom Line -
A spot that does what it should. A bank that’s doing what we need.