Too early for pancakes? Bank of America sends out message of hope ~ Brand Mix

Monday, November 10, 2008

Too early for pancakes? Bank of America sends out message of hope

Bank of America's current TV ad is titled "Pancakes." Some of the copy reads:

“No matter how long the night has been,there’s always breakfast.This is America. The sun comes up and we get a fresh start.”

Jeffry Pilcher thinks that the ad is an "artfully subtle message of hope and reassurance. It sends a message about the economy that Americans want to hear: “Things will be okay and we’ll get through this” " and positions BofA as a leader, poised to guide America out of our economic crisis.

I get that but I wonder about the timing. By some accounts, the recession hasn't even really got started yet. There may be a lot more darkness to come before we see light at the end of the tunnel. Are we ready for pancakes when we're still battening down the hatches?


Jeffry Pilcher said...

Martin, are you saying this ad is premature? Are you suggesting it should run later, after the bottom has hit?

If you're saying we're in for a tough road ahead, I agree with you. Personally, I think it will get much worse before things get better. In my family, we talk about things like an economic Depression, riots, and whether we should buy a 500-gallon gas tank for the property.

But most people aren't like me. Most people need hope almost as badly as they need air and water. There are a lot of people out there who want to hear good news, even when they know things are getting worse -- especially when things are getting worse. For some folks, they just want someone to coo soothing words while hugging them and stroking their hair... "Just hold me."

If BofA's "Pancakes" is premature, let's hope they've got the heavy ammo for when things get worse.

Quite frankly, if things get as bad as I think they'll get, then everyone can just kiss their ads goodbye.

Martin Bishop said...

Yes. I think it's a good ad but some months too early.

BTW: I think that Obama is also way ahead on the hope message. His campaign was focused on change and making things better, setting high expectations. Yet his first months in office are going to be all about trying to stop things getting worse. He's probably going to burn through a lot of his goodwill before things start turning around.

BIG Kahuna said...

Here's why the ad is just ridiculous...

People have had it with lip service and this ad is all lip service. It means nothing. It serves no actionable purpose. It's a waste of BofA money and consumers will see it as a waste. As banks have raped Americans this will be seen (like me) as just another way to fool us. i don't buy it!

Now if they were smart they would develop something real, that meant something. That actually DID something. As our friend Jonathan Baskin would say...

I put this ad in there with the one that Jeffry said was brilliant that included people touching a car until only one person remained. Another gimmick.

Martin, I think you know how I feel about gimmicks. If BofA's brand identity (do you know what it is?) was say "American" then maybe they could have developed a program for our Vet's and their families or something like that. Something that leveraged their brand identity, something with meaning.

Instead they waster their money and our time.

Jeffry Pilcher said...

Hey "Lou," I'm still waiting for that "proposal." LOL!

Martin Bishop said...


It's worth pointing out that this ad is just one part of a broad range of business and marketing activities that BofA has initiated recently. For example,I saw a print ad in USA Today this week which describes BofA's $11 billion commitment to loan payment reductions. So I don't think that it's true that BofA isn't do anything. That said, I agree that consumers will see this particular TV ad as a waste.

Jeffry Pilcher said...

Martin, which is it? A good ad? Or a waste? Maybe it's "a good ad that's a waste?"

Scott is just angry at the financial industry. He has previously cast a blanket judgment on the 20,000 financial institutions in this country, and considers them all equally culpable for our financial crisis. Inasmuch, he feels they all owe him an apology.

If this ad is so obviously flawed/silly/wasteful, where are the armies of bloggers reaming BofA over it?

Martin Bishop said...


I think the answer is it might have been a good ad, but not now. There is a lot of anger out there at the financial industry which is an important factor to take into account. BofA's print ads which focus on what they are doing to help fix things seem much more relevant right now.

BIG Kahuna said...

Gosh, yea...I hate the financial industry? There is this small thing called brand image out there in the big branding world. The last thing ANY bank (all freakin 20,000 of them) wants to do now is look wasteful. Period.

Jeffry Pilcher said...

I'm hungry. Anyone have the number for Pasta Hut? I'd bet they deliver a caesar salad. LOL!

And ship me that freakin' proposal already. I keep checking the mail, but alas...

BIG Kahuna said...

How's that advertising looking now?

35,000 jobs will go at Bank of America

Blog Directory - Blogged