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?


Good Mood Food

When my wife and I moved to Knoxville nearly four (4) years ago, I fell back in love with Arby’s. I know this sounds cheesy, and typically I don’t stand up for fast food chains, but come on, it’s Arby’s!

Growing up we didn’t have much money, and going out to eat at Arby’s was a nice treat. There was an Arby’s right by the mall we would visit and, as an eight year old, I thought it was awesome.

As I got older, my fondness for Arby’s faded away. But then Jenn and I moved to Knoxville.

During our first year in Knoxville, we lived downtown and Arby’s was walking distance from our apartment. In fact, it was right in between where we lived and where I worked. Slowly my love for Arby’s returned.

Though Jenn and I no longer live downtown, and I no longer work at the same place, I still visit Arby’s. Luckily, there is an Arby’s right down the street from my office and every once in a while, I will treat myself to lunch there.

After experiencing a bad dinner experience at a, high-end restaurant, I figured a lunch at Arby’s would hit the spot. While eating there today, I thought of the two reasons why Arby’s stands out over the other traditional fast food stops.

  • Different Menu: For starters, there are no hamburgers; instead they offer roast beef. The roast beef is sliced and cooked on site, which is nice change to frozen patties being reheated. They have seasonal sandwiches, like the Pecan Chicken Salad, that you would never see at a fast food burger joint. Plus, who can resist their horsey sauce?
  • Customer Service: The Arby’s I now visit (6903 Kingston Pike) is always clean and everybody always says hello. The cashier makes sure to call everyone by name, every time. Even the guys who clean the lobby have a smile on their face. Everyone truly wants to be there and they truly care about the customers who come in the building.

A restaurant can spend an astronomical amount of money on marketing to get people into your restaurant. A business can hire actors and famous musicians to be in their television advertisements. These tactics can get new people in the door, but ultimately it’s the food and service people receive inside the building that keeps them coming back and builds brand loyalty.

Hey, if it’s good enough for Puddy…

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