They should be but more often they aren't. It doesn't matter what their size, all too often advertising agencies fall into the money trap: they produce work that's only good enough to move the money from their client's bank account into their own. Work that's just there to please the client and not consumers.
A recent case in point is the newest BNZ advertising campaign, which was produced by Colenso BBDO New Zealand. It's 90 seconds of big wank and you can see it here. A pointless, futile exercise in trying to get consumers to move to BNZ. The claim is that money is neither good nor bad, but what you do with it that counts. Very deep. And vomit inducing.
So after discussing this with friends in both the advertising agency and banking world, I was told that I needed to wait and see what BNZ planned to unveil and that this was just the start.
So I waited. And I can confirm it's more than a big wank. It's pointless beyond belief. The big idea behind this big ad is that BNZ offer three innovative things for you to do with your money:
1. Get the same thing every other bank offers in the form of a way to save money on your mortgage
2. Get the same thing that every supermarket offers in the form of Fly Buys
3. Get the same thing every other bank offers in the form of email and text alerts
Whoop De Do! What's next? Fuel discount coupons?
Where's the big idea? Where's anything to convince consumers that BNZ is the bank for them?
It doesn't exist and no matter how many times you watch the ad nothing will make you think otherwise. All BNZ have to differentiate them is their colour. And BBDO know this but simply decided to hide their client's lack of ideas and differentiation behind a huge 90 second ad campaign. Which in itself is crazy (but brilliant work from the agency - reminds me of the tale of King Midas). Once you've seen this gargantuan presentation of theirs it's all over. You know the story, you know what's going to happen and if the agency thinks otherwise they need their heads examined. Who reads War and Peace or Moby Dick a second time in the hope that the ending will be different? Who sits through adverts these days without jumping for the remote the second they start? Who watches 90 second ads?
But that's the money trap at work. Well done to all those advertising agencies that have perfected it.