Banks are just too predictable and safe to be truly innovative. That makes sense because the only chance a bank takes is with someone else’s money. Yes, there are some good ads from the non-traditional challenger banks, but any of the traditional Banks that we think of as great brands, don’t really have great advertising. They usually lead to a great experience that connects emotionally and creates loyalty with consumers.
In the last decade, TD Bank has been one of those bank brands that leads with the experience. While other banks push products, TD has built an idea of comfort around personalized and convenient customer service that makes you feel special. TD works around your life, instead of forcing you to work around their life. TD has been smart enough to borrow great ideas from Banks they acquired–Canada Trust and Commerce Bank. They have used those ideas to create a unique culture around “comfortable service” and have operationalized comfort into everything they do. TD is consistently rated by consumers as the best service in the industry, winning the JD Powers award year after year.
Yet, TD has struggled to create advertising that truly captures their comfort idea. The green chair ads are ok, but not great. Too boring, too stiff and too un-emotional. This week TD created a remarkable “thank you” video, that has gone viral to millions. While the marketing team at TD might think of this as just a tactical video, what they should be asking themselves is: “did we just create an advertising idea that finally articulates the TD brand?”
Have a look at the video and see how emotional a bank can be:
There is a good lesson here. For brands that struggle telling their story–you might be finding the 30 second TV ad format inhibiting–and makes you even stiffer than you need to be. The freedom of new media options, like viral videos, might allow you to tell your brand’s story and positioning in a more authentic way that will connect with consumers. TD seems to have learned that lesson.
Bank brands need to open up emotionally and connect with consumers