Another bank making a balls-up of things

August 11, 2014

The Royal Bank of Scotland has launched a new advertising campaign.
Like most things that banks create, there appears to have been very little thought put into this.

"We used to be rubbish but we're better now"

“We used to be rubbish but we’re better now”

Their line is “We’re putting the brakes on unfair credit card deals”.
Sorry, but that just sounds like they’ve been happily peddling unfair deals in the past but have now cleaned up their act.
I realise it’s a bus side, but surely they could have written a better line?
Do they think the line is ‘clever’ as it uses ‘brakes’ in it? I really do hope not.

Off the top of my head, they could have tried:
Looking for a fair credit card? Look no further.
Looking for fairer credit card? Get off here.
Looking for a fairer credit card deal? This is your stop.
Looking for a fair credit card deal? This is your stop.

There are literally hundreds of better lines out there.
So why settle for one that makes RBoS look like they are every bit as bad as the popular consensus of them is?

It appears, to me, that the team who created this haven’t spent enough time writing lines to find the best one. It’s, generally, a process of writing a huge number of different ways to answer the brief. And then picking the best one (or ones).

Did no one at the client/agency/research group think that this makes the bank look bad? If they didn’t, then that’s truly frightening. It means that the process has overtaken the importance of what is said. And that’s a sure-fire way to make your brand meaningless.

And while I’m at it, what’s with slamming the word yes into their press headlines?
Do they not remember the award-winning (and long running) campaign for TSB? TSB used TYesB for years and years. (And also, very, very famously ‘The Bank that likes to say yes’).
Either someone’s being very, very lazy or they genuinely don’t care any more.

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