when use of a celebrity in TV ad fails – the new security bank’s TV ad with Megan Young
use of celebrities in ads is a huge trend in the philippines, it has been for decades years now. almost all the ads you see in TV, print, billboards and hear on radio use a celebrity. use of a celebrity in advertising is the go-to ad concept for most if not all the advertising agencies in the phiippines. we do not know how that happened or if that was instigated by ad agencies in general or clients in general. that is an interesting question but it is for another article in the future.
for now, we are interested in this particular celebrity TV ad by security bank using megan young.
megan young won the Miss World beauty title in 2013. she has brought so much glory to the country for this win
specially when it has been a long time when the country has won a major international beauty contest title.
beautiful women and men have been big choices for philippine advertising agencies specially if they have gained celebrity status. the usual choices are TV and movie stars and big sports heroes like manny pacquiao but beauty queens specially someone like young who has won a major international beauty contest classifies her a celebrity endorser.
security bank is a medium sized bank in the country. it has a good reputation among institutional or business bank clients but not as popular and in fact has very little mass consumer clientele like the top 3 major banks. you would know very few among your friends and relatives who bank with security bank.
security bank is not a big advertiser among the banks. it makes sense that it is not since its clientele, specially among mass consumers is not that much but it has been known to try to get into attract mass consumer clientele from time to time in spurts and in very limited efforts in the past.
this advertising with megan young represents a giant marketing effort for security bank. it has been many, many years since it had released any kind of advertising and in this magnitude. it has been airing heavily in the past weeks.
in marketing this megan young TV campaign represent what is called a brand relaunch where the bank re-positions itself and puts across a “new bank”, a new security bank.
based on the TV ad, security ad wants consumers to “switch to the new security bank, you deserve better“, the tagline of the ad. the “new security bank” offers the following new services : “priority queuing”, “exclusive privileges” and a “relationship manager” with all that intending to give clients better, more efficient, faster and personalized banking services. the ad shows young going into the bank and talks to the camera about her “new relationship” and she breezes through the bank services and gets attended to by a handsome relationship manager who wears a suit, no less.
well, that part of the handsome relationship manager in a suit is for certain an over promise and the roominess and good ambiance of the security bank branch featured in the TV, we do not think there is one single branch of security bank that has that kind of employee and branch design. but let’s pretend that is not an issue in this ad for the moment.
the ad also shows megan young being served coffee by the relationship manager. another over-promise that we should pretend we did not see in the ad and something we should not expect in an actual security bank branch.
the issue we have on this TV ad is much more than the over-promises of what a security bank branch looks like and what happens to customers inside the bank, what we are making a point on is the choice of the talent in the ad, the celebrity endorser and what the promises of what a new security bank is all about.
first a side bar – technically, security bank as a whole has not been changed. it’s not really a “new security bank” but its a just new product that security bank offers to well-off clients. this “new relationship” or the “new security bank” that is being talked about in the ad will be given to a select number of clients – those who have a minimum P100,000 deposit in the bank, not to all clients of the bank. because it is offered only to a select few of its clients, it is just one product in the bank. do not expect to get the kind of servicing in a security bank if you are an ordinary bank client.
this new product of security bank is being pitched to young bank clients, the yuppies given the use of young who is herself young (pun unintended) and the ad uses references to “relationships that are not complicated” a modern-day reference to social media (facebook) that young adults are familiar with and most likely very few older adults know about.
from there the question comes up on the defined target market of the ad – young yuppies as we would think very few of them can afford to have a remaining balance of P100,000 in their bank accounts. they can afford to buy an iPhone worth P30,0000+ but hardly will you find people at that age bracket having that large amount of cash in their bank accounts.
now back to megan young.
the point of this “new security bank” but actually the new security bank product is that it promises to give its bank clients “special treatment”, something that clients of other banks and other security bank clients will not or do not get. what it is saying is that bank clients get the regular treatment of having to line up, no privileges and no relationship manager tending to your personal needs (including coffee being served). it is saying many bank clients get the regular treatment, not the special one.
and that is where the choice of megan young as talent in this tv ad shows a disconnect.
megan young IS A VERY POPULAR CELEBRITY. everyone knows her. for being a celebrity and this kind of beauty with an international beauty title, she WILL get special treatment from any bank or in fact any establishment like restaurants, department stores and malls even if she does not do anything, ask for it or have P100,000 with her to open a bank account with. getting special treatment, even the priority ones is part and parcel of the benefits one gets in being a celebrity and being an international beauty titlist.
we are willing to bet that if she enters any branch of any bank, the branch manager will most likely stand up from her desk and attend to her. she is that recognizable and that is what we do for celebrities.
using her in this ad then destroys the whole concept of the “new security bank”. if the bank used a regular person, a non-celebrity in the ad and the ad proceeds to show this regular person gets special treatment in security bank, then the ad works and delivers the message very well.
the point of relationship products like this is that one gets “special treatment” even if you are an ordinary person but has P100,000 minimum deposit. a regular person gets special treatment, that is the idea.
in this ad and with the new security bank product, the choice of a celebrity endorser destroyed the very idea of the new product. it’s a WAWAM!
~~~ mindscape landmark ~~~