In Our Opinion

My view from the Ad Court bench

By October 28, 2014 January 21st, 2019 2 Comments
NEFMA Ad Court Judges

Court is in session!

It was my great pleasure to join my fellow marketers, Sean Tracey and Jay Nelson, as a judge at the New England Financial Marketing Association‘s (NEFMA) first “Ad Court.”

Kicking off the fall conference, attendees were asked to review three bank commercials and present their best defense and prosecution for each. After each case, we three judges passed judgement not on the commercials, but on the arguments presented.

While none of the commercials were great (a few of us declared all three to be downright awful), the arguments from the NEFMA attendees were fantastic. And with the defense winning their case 2 out of 3 times, it was easy to see how even the worst commercial can appeal to someone.

Each also provide great examples of where commercials can go wrong.

Confusing “Service” for “Services”
While the prosecution (correctly) jumped on the extremely sexist nature of this commercial, I was struck by how they were defining “Service.” Mobile Banking and 30,000 Free ATMs are delivery channels, and while they may be a deciding factor, I’m not sure they give someone the same “warm fuzzy” as a pretty girl checking you out.

Making the Commercial Work Too Hard
This commercial literally has it all – awards, ag loans, mortgages, checking, free gift, mobile banking, services for veterans – the list goes on and on. While Mike from our office, with the support of his team, successfully defended the commercial, the fact is it’s easy to try to make an ad do too much. Instead of a 60 second ad, perhaps this institution could have created 4, 15 second spots, each focusing on one product or service.

An Offer That Doesn’t Match the Message
The final commercial certainly hits on several emotional levels with the use of a familiar song and strong production values – but I had to agree with the prosecution’s argument that it ended with a fizzle. While the “little things do make the difference” the offer of 5 pounds a month (or just about $8) seems a bit cheap after the warm send up.

Ad Court was a fun way to get the NEFMA attendees networking and talking about what worked in their own institution. I can’t wait to see what commercials they select next time!