Brands That Make You Scoff – FirstBank

Branding boo-boo by FirstBank, the largest regional bank in Colorado.

Bad branding: FirstBank's cloned lambTheir latest commercial says they’ll give you $50 if you open a checking account with them. That’s the good news. All the rest is downhill.

I wish I could let you view the entire commercial, but no one has put it on YouTube as yet. But the picture to the left states the gist of it.

This character, a regular used car salesman in a banker’s office, strokes this “clone-gone-wrong” throughout the 20 seconds as he presents the $50 incentive for those opening an account. Then he claims the money was not cloned. Throughout twenty seconds he “lies” about the money not being cloned, and as the camera pulls back, we see another “him” sitting off to the side, obviously his clone.

I’m sure the agency is excited because people have been drawn to the image of a double-headed lamb and the subject of cloning. I’m not at all surprised an ad agency proposed this. I don’t believe in agencies any more. These guys have sacrificed brand integrity for sensationalism. And FirstBank management approved it. Shame on them

Why would FirstBank, a regional leader, want this greasy character who’s obviously a liar, to represent the bank. Just his voice inflections make you not like this character. And why would you or I every think this bank would pass out cloned – read counterfeit – money?

And please answer me this: how is the negativism of cloned money, coupled with cloned lambs and salesmen, going to make a good impression? And how can it be relevant?

Thumbs down. I don’t want to do business with a bank that would hire this guy, or would approve such an inane commercial.

3 thoughts on “Brands That Make You Scoff – FirstBank

  1. Martin, speaking of brands that make you scoff – what about Quiznos!? Every time I think about Quiznos I always picture that rat/mouth character screaming out “They Got A Pepper Bar!.” Now, with their new “put it in me, Steve” commercial, I’m stuck with the image of a sexual encounter between a male oven and a freaked out sandwich maker. I think this is another example of how agencies are sacrificing brand integrity for sensationalism. Well put.

  2. Dom, yes, I agree about Quiznos. They’ve had more really bad ad concepts than any company I know. And their brand suffers.

    For a while their idea of “toasted” as a differentiator was getting through to me, but now it’s just another distracting campaign that buries the message in tastelesness (pardon the pun).

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