Wednesday, December 05, 2007

CitiBunk: what's with the irrelevant ads?

Years ago, Citi ran an ad campaign in which "people" talked about how helpful CB was when they detected unusual spending patterns. I mean, they actually called the consumer to find out if they were actually consuming at the clip that their transactions seemed to indicate.

The folks in the ads were all over themselves praising Citi for protecting them - although, given a credit card holder's limited exposure on use of a stolen hard, they were actually protecting themselves.

I remember Saturday Night Live spoofing this campaign with a very funny riff on "First National Change Bank" that depicted customers grateful because they could go into the bank, give the teller a twenty dollar bill and get back a ten, a five, and five ones.

Citi, it appears, is at it again with another statement of the obvious campaign, in which they tout how people can and do use their Citi credit cards to, like, buy stuff.

Buy stuff? With a credit card?

Never would have thought of that on my own!

Admittedly, the ads are cute.

In one, there's a very cute mutt in bed with a stuffed poodle. Apparently, his owners tried everything to keep Max from howling. Figuring that their pup was lonely, the bought him a mirror. Then new dog food. Then a new dog bed. Finally, they settled on the stuffed poodle. All's right in the world. And they, apparently, could never have carried it off without Citi.

In another one, a non-cooking shopaholic turns her kitchen into a walk-in closet. Again, all with the help of her Citi cards. Now, if ever there's an ad that I can identify with, it's one about someone who doesn't cook. (Alternative use for my kitchen: solarium/reading room.)

What this has to do with a Citi card, well.

In the third ad in the series, the new mother-in-law of the vegetarian daughter-in-law puts a tofu turkey on the holiday table. Remind me never to eat a tofu turkey. It looks like either an uncooked turkey-turkey or a turkey molded out of Crisco. Yuck.

Yet again, Citi to the rescue.

Don't leave home without it.

Obviously, the ads were clever enough for me to read, and maybe that's what Citi is intending - it puts their name in front of an audience who might not ever read a straightforward, boring old ad for a credit card.

But is it going to motivate me to sign up for a City card?

No way!

What might motivate me is Frequent Flyer miles. (Actually, that would motivate my husband to motivate me.) A donation to a charity of choice. Accumulation of bonus points.

Sorry, just being able to spend with it doesn't exactly inspire me to want to learn more.

"Whatever your story is, your Citi card can help you write it."

Maybe I'm the American oddball, but, in truth, my personal story doesn't have all that much to do with the stuff I buy.

Chalk this one up to yet another ad campaign that I draw a major blank on.

1 comment:

howiet said...

I just saw this ad in current issue of Sports Illustrated. Could not disagree with you more - I am a non Citi customer in Canada. Man, I love that ad, and thank god for something fresh and different