Positive Advertising

I took out some cash from Citibank yesterday and on my activity receipt, I noticed they had printed the following text ad:

Use your cellphone for something more than calling Mom.

To provide a little context for this message, Citibank has recently begun marketing its new mobile version of its website that can be accessed by cellphones. So the quote above implies that you can use your phone to something more than just call your mother, namely access Citibank’s mobile web service.

I was personally a little insulted by this message. The implication here is that “uncool” people have no one to talk to but their moms and “cool” myspace-connected, IM’ng Generation X people are dying to surf over to the Citibank website and see how much money they have in their bank accounts while they wait in line for the double-decaf, soy latte at Starbucks.

If Citibank was going to drag Mom into an ad, they try something a little nicer like:

Get things done with your cell phone:

  • Check balance on a cellphone using Citi Mobile (SM) to see if you have enough money for that plane ticket home to surprise Mom.
  • Call Mom to tell her that she should make her famous stew for dinner tomorrow night.

A message like this puts a positive spin on the power of their new service and shows that checking your balance can be used to do something nice for Mom instead of implying that you are loser because the only person in cellphone address book is your mom.

Something to think about.

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Sunday, July 8, 2007

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