Capital One Venture Card - Double Miles
After seeing this ad twenty or thirty times on television and Hulu I am filled with incredible disgust for Capital One. Before this ad I was already mildly irritated at Capital One for sending spam mail to my physical mailbox about once a month, telling me that I was prequalified to sign up for a Capital One card. I would however still open the mail and look at it. After watching this ad though, I feel a visceral disgust whenever I see their mail spam, and I throw it away unopened. To me this ad is like a slap in the face. The actor has an incredibly conceited attitude throughout this ad, and in its associated ads in the same series. The actor is not someone I would want to be friends with. If I met such a person in real life I would avoid them, because they are not pleasant to be around. It boggles my mind that Capital One would purposefully chose such an unpleasant person to be their representative in the ad. In fact even in this very ad you can see that other people in the ad have a distaste for the actor. Look at the expression on the pilot's face when the actor tells him "Don't worry... I've played a pilot before." This ad is a huge failure. What this ad makes me think is that Capital One thinks they are better than their customers, and if you aren't signed up for their service you are stupid. After seeing this ad series Capital One is on my blacklist of companies I will never have business dealings with.
Chase Freedom - Money Booth
This is another example of an ad which is insulting to its customer base. The customer pictured in the ad makes an honest mistake, after which the representative of Chase Freedom doesn't give her a second chance, but instead makes fun of her for making the wrong choice. This is supposed to make me want to switch to Chase Freedom? I don't know how these companies got the idea that making fun of potential customers will get them to switch over to their company, but they are very wrong.
Chase Freedom - Personal Transporter
I think that Chase realized how insulting and terrible the "Money Booth" ad was, so they made an abrupt about face and turned the same insulting character into a bumbling idiot, probably in an attempt to charm over customers who had been turned off by his previous "better than you" attitude. In this series of ads the representative of Chase Freedom sits in a freezer shivering while waiting for a customer, nearly crashes his "personal transporter", burns a meal, etc. Clearly this is an attempt to show that contrary to what the previous money booth ad said, Chase is not better than you, they are just like you and they make mistakes. This is an admirable change. However, it still doesn't make me want to switch to Chase. Instead it makes me feel that Chase is incompetent and clumsy, just like the main character in their ads.
Frost Bank - 2012 Olympics Commercial
Now lest you think I just hate all bank ads, lets take a look at a bank ad that is tasteful, and which makes me want to switch to their bank:
This ad is in a word, beautiful. It isn't over the top, it doesn't insult customers, it doesn't represent the company with a bumbling idiot. Instead it says "Frost bank is patriotic, it cares about USA, it cares about you." The tag line "We're from here" is powerful. It gives me a good feeling about Frost bank. For another beautiful example of Frost bank advertising check out their Hulu ad, which unfortunately can't be embedded. This Hulu ad clearly references the stupid antics, and general buffoonery of their competitors ads, and tells customers that Frost actually means business.
In conclusion the lesson to be learned is that companies really need to think about what their ads say about their company. If your ad says that you company thinks it is better than customers, and insults customers, or if your ad says that your company is incompetent and makes lots of mistakes then do you really expect it to have good results on your company's reputation?