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New Chase Ad Embodies Everything Wrong With Traditional Adverts.

Posted by: David Kiley on May 23, 2005

I was watching an episode of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” last night. Actually, my wife was watching while I was reading the New York Times Magazine.

An ad for Chase came on. It seemed to be an overall brand ad featuring credit cards and banking services. The music, if you can believe it, was “Wind Beneath My Wings.” The story line was a daughter going through life, and ultimately getting married. There was even a shot of the bride dancing with her groom, looking over at her Dad, who was sitting alone and had just written a Chase check to pay the caterer.

“Did I ever Tell Yooooouuuuuuuu You’re My Herooooooooooo.” The girl’s glance to her father conveyed the thought: ‘I wonder if this man I just married will measure up to my Dad.” The voiceover at one point suggests that the way to be a “hero” (re: music tie-in)is to bank with Chase. “Be prepared for life’s most important moments. Chase gives you everything you need to be the hero.”

My message to the father and daughter: Scale the wedding down to 20 people, and give the couple what you would have spent on the elaborate wedding so they can get into their own house or condo instead of living with their in-laws after the honeymoon.

From behind my magazine, I was aware of an ad this bad just from the audio, but then I tuned in the visuals.

Created by mcgarrybowen of New York, the campaign reintroduces the trademark Chase octagon as a “portal” for customers to look into the world of Chase and see the financial solutions Chase can provide.

The campaign has been engineered to begin a new era for the company after it acquired Bank One. Chase has begun to rebrand retail branches in 17 states from Bank One to Chase, which will be completed by Spring 2006.

There are so many problems with this campaign, it's hard to know where to start. First off: One could sub Wachovia or Wells Fargo for Chase. This is a generic ad campaign if I ever saw one. It says nothing unique about why someone should choose Chase overt a Wachovia. Second: it's sappy without being relevant or inspiring. In a world of non traditional advertising over-taking traditional ads, agency and client opted for an ad that would have seemed dated in 1972. This ad, in fact could have been for Kodak circa 1980 rather than a financial services company in 2005.

Reader Comments


April 16, 2006 11:53 AM

Looking for the artist that did the chase ad with the couple going thru life changes, from dating to old age. Love the arist, can you help?


February 22, 2009 12:56 AM

Whomever wrote the article obviously knows nothing about the public. I first saw the commercial while watching a program I tivoed. I played it over 20 times. It was memorable, and made me rethink how I viewed banking, and yes, Chase Bank. There was nothing sappy about it. It showed family, a single father it appeared, who raised his daughter, and was prepared for her special day. His Chase representative was like a part of the family...we keep forgetting about relationship, and how important that is, even in business. My hats off to the creator of the commercial. I only hope they would pull it out of the archive and play it every May and June for all of us sappy people who will look at Chase bank as a family bank, a bank that cares about the people it does business with.


July 16, 2009 7:09 PM

Obviously mcgarrybowen knows something about what the public wants in advertising because after watching the Chase Bank commercials I couldn't stop having sex with my TV


September 8, 2009 9:15 PM

In what is yet another twisted Chase Bank ad campaign, one Chase TV ad begins with two young - far too young - black girls "hooking up" with a guy on their cell phones while their oblivious mother sits beside them.

Chase seems to be pushing the worst racist stereotypes onto the public, and Chase does so by showing the black mother acquiescing in her daughter's behaviour.

Chase Bank, an Ultra-White corporation, should be condemned for putting such racist TV ads in heavy rotation across America.

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News, opinions, inflammatory meanderings and occasional ravings about the world of advertising, marketing and media. By marketing editor Burt Helm, Innovation Editor Helen Walters, and senior correspondent Michael Arndt.

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