TV Ad Rules Broken

When I first started in bank marketing there were several “rules” banks followed.  One rule was that banks would end all advertising in the fourth quarter of the year.  From October thru December 31st, banks would lay low, and go dark.

As one bank marketer explained it years ago:

There’s too much junk on T.V. to get our message out.

Though that was only a few years ago, I’ve noticed this “rule” was not applied this year.  Community Banks, Regional Powerhouses, Mega Banks and Credit Unions are all still going strong with advertising, especially on television.

Why is that?  What is different this year from others?

  • Presidential Election: Though this was a heated Presidential election, Tennessee was slated to go to Gov. Romney.  In fact, there was little to no television advertising after the Republican primary, even in smaller state/local races.
  • Home Loans: Home loan rates are at an all time low.  People have the opportunity to refinance and save money by reducing their interest rate.  Banks, along with Credit Unions, realize this and are finding ways to let the public know, while obtaining new customers.
  • Branding: This applies more to Credit Unions.  Credit Unions are still riding high on being a local company and “not a bank.”  On a national level, more and more Community Banks are starting to learn from this and are applying the local company concept to their brand.  In Knoxville, a couple of area banks have started using the approach, by highlighting their local decision making process.

Other than banking, it appears the fast food industry is also coming on strong with television advertising.  Two good examples are Domino’s and Arby’s.

Both companies are not focusing on fast delivery of their food, but rather emphasizing their commitment to food quality while attacking their competitors.  The first part is not new.  Several fast food companies are focusing on quality, and Dominoes has spent years on branding their company as an organization dedicated to producing a quality driven product.  It’s the second part that is making these two companies stand out from the pack.

Deep Dish Pizza

Domino’s has came out with a new deep dish pizza and has been promoting it with television adverting spots.  Domino’s starts the commercial by calling out competitors who use frozen crust to make their deep dish pizzas, then the commercial shows how Domino’s makes their fresh deep dish pizzas.  The commercial doesn’t come right out and say who the frozen deep dish restaurant but this is a different approach than previous Domino’s commercials.  In fact, their last product push focused on their cheesy bread, where they point out how bad their cheesy bread was before they enhanced it.

Sliced Fresh

Arby’s has pulled out the big guns with this one.  Arby’s isn’t just attacking their competition, but they call them out one public offender and doing it with some flair.  Arby’s is using former NYPD Bo Dietl as a spokesperson to uncover the truth about Subway Restaurants and the way they slice their meat.  Here is just one of the current commercials running nationally.

I’m certain that there are other industries besides banking and fast food restaurants that are going strong in the fourth quarter.  What companies do you know of that are changing their television advertising strategy?


Paper vs Digital

Who’s not ditching paper?

When I read that Newsweek was leaving the print industry and going straight digital, it brought me back to my Junior High School days.

During the last year of Junior High, I earned the privilege to be in an honor class that focused on History and Social Studies.  One of the benefits of this class was that every student received a free copy of Newsweek.  Since then, I’ve always had a special place in my heart for the publication.

With the increased use of iPads and other tablets, it’s only a matter of time before other well known publications decide to drop paper publication and provide an electronic only option.

The magazine industry isn’t the only business moving closer to digital.  Banks and credit unions have taken steps to cut paper out of their business process.

  • Direct Deposit: Though this isn’t a new concept, having a paycheck deposited directly into a checking account has increased dramatically in the past few years.  With an increase in technology, many banks are offering this to customers and offering it as a service to business customers.
  • ACH: Direct Deposit is just one example of the Automated Clearing House (ACH) process.  In addition paying employees, customers can use this system to pay vendors and other bills.
  • Electronic Statements: More and more individuals are opting to receive their statements via online.  In addition to reducing their carbon footprint, people are also learning that electronic statements can be delivered in a more secure way than traditional paper statements.

All the digital improvements that are occurring in our day to day life are great, but there is one area where I still prefer paper over digital: business books.  I enjoy using multi-color highlighters and making notes with a pen on paper.  I know these are thing that can be “digitally done” with the iPad and other tablets…it is just taking time to adjust to it.

Now that I think about it, make it two areas where I prefer paper.  This too reminds me of my Junior High days.  Sorry in advance for the profanity.

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