Several days ago I read an article by someone whose name I now forget yet have no desire to look up who wrote of the extreme anger they felt towards the man in the PlusNet adverts. At the time I thought this was nothing more than the ramblings of a mad person struggling to deal with the cancellation of Jeremy Kyle. How can somebody become so apopletic with rage over such a non-issue? I thought before I resumed organising the mass protest to order the re-filming of Game of Thrones. Little did I know that just a few days later, it would be I feeling angst towards an advertising campaign.
That angst is directed towards the Nationwide adverts, which have, for some bizarre reason, chosen to use poetry to advertise its services. Yet at no point in the recited stanzas do they make mention of interest rates, saving accounts, loans, or in fact anything else to do with banking and finance.
In the early stages of their advertising campaign these adverts were nothing more than simply slightly annoying. A woman alone in a room stood reciting whatever nonsense she was reciting while a sepia-tinged filmed played through her onto the back wall. It was quite dull but fine; and in a way informative, for it at least was on the topic of the origin of the building society. After that, it descends into whatever pompous nonsense it now is. It’s no longer somebody giving some loose form of information, now it’s two people sitting in a camera booth lying to each other about how receiving a phonecall at 3am is sweet and not the most irritating thing in all of mankind. Perhaps this one was to highlight that Nationwide has 24/7 customer support but I wouldn’t know because I don’t care enough to check. But it is the most recent offering that not only makes me angry, but makes me feel that I am on the verge of a breakdown with each subsequent viewing. It’s like having Patrick McGoohan screened directly into your eyes during every waking moment.
The issue is that the advert has nothing to do with anything, and has even less to do with banking. It is simply two men sitting opposite one another telling me how much they enjoy eating meals together. Why do I need to know this? Why should I care? What does your daily lunch meeting have to do with financial responsbility? We the viewers are then told that these two were born a month apart, that they went to school together and were a disruptive influence in the class, and that they really, really, really like eating together. I find it hard to believe these people are friends: I’ve seen more chemistry and less awkward glances between myself and my failed Tinder dates.
I have never taken a class in sales or marketing or advertising but I imagine that one of the first things that is taught is that adverts should entice people, to make them want to use your product or service. All Nationwide has managed to do is make me want to burn all of my money instead of ever using their service.
Still, it’s got me writing about it, which I suppose means their advertising campaign worked.