Thursday, September 20, 2007

Content Worst-Practice #1

Your screens show competitors' ads

The last 2-3 years have seen a boom in banks installing flat-screen televisions in their teller areas, most often playing CNN, MSNBC, or another broadcast news station to entertain customers while they wait for service.  While seemingly innocuous, in reality these banks are exposing their customers to thousands of their competitors' advertisements...while they wait in their own branches! 

If we assume banks show 2,250 broadcast hours per year (9 hours/day x 5 days/week x 50 weeks/year), and that there are 15 minutes of advertising per hour at 30 seconds per ad (network averages), it means branch visitors are exposed to 67,500 ads on a yearly basis.  Having watched CNN for more than a few hours in my lifetime, I think it fair to assume 1 in 5 ads are financial services oriented, meaning 13,500 competitor ads grace screens in bank branches annually.

The TV epidemic is visible in many different banks here--Citi and Signature Bank are two examples--but perhaps worse yet is Bank of America's network, as I wrote earlier in the week.  BofA, who have the mechanism already in place to deliver their own content, is mixing their material seemingly randomly with broadcast TV, which is what led to E*Trade's high-rate savings ad to be played (while BofA advertised an inferior rate on their print materials!) while I walked by the branch the other day.

Come on, guys.  Seriously.


marketingmaven said...

There really is no excuse to present any content that is not focused on selling YOUR organization's financial instruments, brand, or services. The only other acceptible content is lifestyle-related content that supports your position and relationship with the customers. It's amazing how many organizations will sail the seas without a map!

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