Watching some of the ads on TV these days really makes me appreciate the power of advertising. I have to take my hat off to the companies who are able to put these together to sell a product or service even though there are times when I have to question the honesty of what they are saying. Maybe “honesty” is the wrong word, but sometimes the content is a little on the shaky side. I know they have a job to do to try to get me to become a believer, but the stretch put on many of these commercials really makes me scratch my head.
It seems that the banking industry is moving away from bricks and mortar. These new banks are totally cyber-based and while they still provide the basic services found in more traditional institutions, you are not able to visit a branch to get any questions answered or have an account serviced. For those of us a little long in the tooth or gray in the hair, it may be tougher to take, but I believe the younger generations are very comfortable in the cyber -world and won’t have a problem with this new way of handling transactions.
I believe this creates a new challenge for advertisers who need to draw a distinction between their client and their competition. I think this is where the shaky stuff comes in. When you basically offer the same services, it has to be difficult to attract folks to become customers. This means they have to get creative to capture attention.
I have been seeing one lately for a new bank in this cyber-world situation. I give the bank credit for doing some things to set themselves apart. One of the big items that caught my attention and I am sure many others was that they charged no fee to use any ATM whether it was one of theirs or another competing bank.
That is pretty cool, but I am not sure it doesn’t mean that the originating bank won’t charge a fee to use their machine. In fact, typically if I use an ATM from some other bank, it is that bank that charges me to use it, not my bank. So I guess while the commercial is somewhat accurate in that regard, it maybe isn’t telling the whole story.
The commercial goes on to say how important it is for us to respect our planet and given that, this bank has 100% totally fossil free deposits. Again, this could certainly be a good move to attract business, but I am not sure what that means. I am thinking that if I am using an ATM to make a deposit because there are no branches to visit, I must not be able to get a paper slip to keep as a record of that deposit. Since many paper plants use fossil fuels, I guess the lack of paper enforces this claim of fossil fuel-free.
I don’t think it takes a genius to figure out other aspects of the deposit could involve fossil fuels. Things such as power generation to run the machines or manufacture the components of equipment or even to fuel the vehicles that are used to come around and collect the money that was deposited may have some use of fossil fuels.
Perhaps I am just getting cynical in my old age. I guess many of the aspects of the new way to bank are a good start. Although, I still like to walk across the street from my woodshop to my local bank to make a deposit or cash a check. I enjoy chatting with the folks who work there and they are always willing to help if I have an issue or question and I don’t have to push 17 buttons and wait on hold.
I also think that old habits die hard even with the younger generation. It made me smile to watch the end of this commercial for the new cyber-bank when they promoted helping the planet with fossil fuel free deposits and the young lady entered her deposit in the ATM while drinking a latte housed in a paper cup with a plastic cover. I guess some fossil fuel habits die hard.
And that’s the situation as I survey it …
After a 35-year career downstate livin’ amongst da trolls, during which he built a successful engineering and surveying business, John Matonich is back home in da U.P. His column will appear here occasionally, don’tcha know. His book “Surveyin’ Da Situation” is available on Amazon.com.