If Taglines Were Easy Then “This. Would. Rock.”

HS&P – a respected U.K. marketing firm filled with great thinkers and strategists has designed a new campaign for N&P – a financial institution also located over yonder.  (Note – I use acronyms because that’s what they use in the article announcing the change.  And if they think that’s okay then… well… Acronyms-away.)

The idea – which I believe is an excellent one – is to convince non-customers that switching banks is easy.  Because, well, it is easy with N&P.  I know of no real details about the promotion, other than it challenges people to make the switch, perhaps with a guarantee or incentive. 

The tagline?

Switch To N&P Today

Okay, so… points for clarity.  But does this actually do anything other than tell potential clients what they want them to do?  When was the last time any corporation commanded you to give them money and you actually listened?  No fair referencing “Just Do It” since they definately command, but don’t actually specify what they’re commanding you to do.

[Ed.: Send Stokefire Money Today. Small Bills Preferred. Lots of them.]

Rather than tell people what to do, wouldn’t it be more effective to show them what they’ll get out of it, or more overtly indicate the ease with which the change will be made? 

Here’s my problem:  The campaign is supposed to suggest ease, but the timeframe indicated (Today) seems to be at odds with the message.  “Today” is a pretty long time, especially if I hear the message in the morning.  So… Great!  I can come in at 9 AM and have a new bank within eight hours!  Good thing I love lightly padded chairs and pens attached to chains.”  In our super-digital world we expect things to happen without real effort and without noticeable passage of time.  Today just doesn’t cut it.

A better approach?  Why not use the tagline to drive home the challenge – and to make the challenge a challenge to both the customer and N&P? 

I’m not an expert when it comes to Briticisms, but it seems something like “Got a minute? Then you’ve got a new bank.”  or perhaps a more realistic/honest approach like “Your New Bank In Thirty Minutes, Or the Pizza is Free.”  (I really should know if Dominos Pizza is across the pond before I suggest that one, of course.  But the tie-ins are stupendous.  What’s easier than ordering pizza?  Well… now changing your bank is!)

The current proposed tagline takes no risks and will not be remembered long.  At least that’s what my own analysis indicates. I’ll be watching with interest to see how the campaign is received by the real world.  And I’ll gladly eat crow if I’m wrong.

I love the strategic work that HS&P does – and their approach to projects is admirable too… But in some cases a great brand idea can be hamstrung by the words used to convey it.  I think this will be one of those cases.  Barring amazing creative work and ground-breaking design this is one of those campaigns that may work internally to focus the effort, but that will be almost invisible to the outside world.

Anyone think differently?

Addendum: Forget about “today” as a timeframe.  This site says it can get everything together – for free – so you can change banks on your own… and it’ll only take ten minutes. 

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