Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Achievement stretches a dollar.

Get it?

If not, welcome to lame headlines, Part 2.

PNC (by the way, my bank) has a series of billboards around town (around the region for all I know) with inane messages like the one in the title of this post.

Tell us, PNC, how does achievement stretch a dollar and how do you expect us to figure that out when we drive by your message at 60 MPH while listening to the cd player, fending off the tailgaters and keeping the kids from throwing things out the window?

Billboards are most effective in brand support, right? We're not going to run to the bank to sign up because we saw a message on a billboard. But how does your message help build your brand when no one knows what the heck you're talking about? Perhaps you will say because you have fitted it with the other millions you are spending on this "achievement" thing.

Well, here's some free advice: Use verbs in your messages, instead of nouns that have been created from verbs. In other words, tell the audience to achieve something, if you must. Verbs hold our language together and drive our communications. And,while you're at it, ditch this achievement campaign and differentiate yourself in some meaningful way. Take a lesson from Michael Porter or Trout and Ries.

Or, go back to advertising 101; people want to know how your product will bring them a BENEFIT. They don't want to be told to work at something, like achievement. And they certainly won't work at figuring out what you're trying to tell them when you say "achievement stretches a dollar". They want a bank for what? High interest rates on their savings, easy to get loans with easy terms and low interest rates. (Or, in this age, they want a bank that promises to be solvent in two years.)

Here, again, as with Wheeling Jesuit University (Is PNC related to WJU somehow?) we see ad types being clever (hoping to win awards or be like Mad Men) and executives who have swallowed this garbage for some strange reason. Maybe they don't want to look non-creative. So, I say to PNC (my bank),as I said to WJU, fire your ad agency (Is it the same one?) and the staff responsible for bringing you this lame work and start to think like a customer.

No comments:

Post a Comment