Investmentitos, anyone?

March 4 2010 by Ellen Roseman

I did a column yesterday about those in-your-face bank commercials and why they’re getting so weird.

You know, the two grumpy old men (TD Canada Trust) and the dysfunctional couples (Scotiabank). I couldn’t find the real Scotiabank ad on YouTube, so I’ve linked to a parody.

But there’s one I missed that’s pretty offensive, BMO and the worry doll. A reader mentioned it and I think it’s a mystery why any advertising exec approved it.

Here are some nasty comments I found online about these North Americans griping about their “investmentitos” while shopping at a third world market:

I hate this commercial. Spoilt first world people with enough money to invest (and travel) condescending to the local vendor (who probably lives on a few dollars a week) about their mucho grande worries. The female tourist is particularly obnoxious.

Because, y’know, us white North Americans have bigger worries than these 3rd world, rural peasants even with their contaminated water supplies, their drought-ridden farms, their starving children… our worries are still so much more… important.

This couple can afford to travel abroad, have “investmentitos” and they are complaining to some 90 year old woman who is trying to feed herself by selling stupid dolls to foreigners about their money issues. Doesn’t BMO think this is a bit insensitive?

Okay, the first time I saw this funny-looking blonde woman trying to translate investments as “investmentitos” and matching market fluctuations to the tone of her voice – “sometimes it’s up, sometimes it’s down,” – I kinda chuckled. But after the tenth time it was just annoying. Hm, maybe if I yell louder and put an O on the end of my words she’ll understand me.

On the plus side, Ally Bank is doing great ads with its use of humour and kids. My husband laughs every time he sees this commercial, every single time.

So, what do you think of the ads by BMO, Ally, TD and Scotia? Any other financial ads you like or dislike?

9 comments

  1. The Rat

    Mar 5 2010

    The weirdest and illogical of them all if you ask me is the recent RBC commercial. It’s the one that discusses saving for TFSA purposes, have you seen it?

    Basically, the commercial highlights that if you save $2 a day for your TFSA, it will “eventually” reach $50,000. Anybody who does the math on that, $2/day x 365 days a year, we arrive at $730 a year. That’s 68 years of investing to arrive to $50,000. We could be dead by the time we reach $50,000! For a couple, that’s 34 years!

    I fully realize that TFSA accounts will experience growth, especially if investors buy stocks or other investment vehicles within their TFSAs, but I think the message is just downright silly.

  2. Steve Garganis

    Mar 5 2010

    Watching the Olympics forced many of us to endure these bank commercials. Here are the ones that really burned me..

    RBC shows young couple looking at house with old kitchen. The Mortgage Specialist recommends they split their mortgage into fixed and variable ‘to save money’… what is this supposed to mean?

    This is more bank Kool-aid — don’t drink it.

    As a former banker, I know the main reason this mortgage was created was to stagger the maturity dates, which would not allow you to ever switch your mortgage to another institution — hence, leaving you with no leverage to negotiate a better rate upon renewal.

    The commercials that portray all men as morons are rubbing me the wrong way too… Scotiabank’s ‘I’m Right’ T-shirt and the guy looking away from his investment statements… also, the old men at TD that don’t know anything…

    Hey, give us guys a break…

  3. Sean

    Mar 5 2010

    The ads I hate the most are the Grey Power commercials. They come on so often it’s irritating. I guess they are rooting for people with Alzheimer’s or something. Guess who will end up paying the cost of all that advertising?

    Advertising is meant to separate fools from their money. The product shown or talked about is rarely a good deal.

  4. Jonny K. Weer

    Mar 6 2010

    It’s obvious these commercials were aimed at the educated ignorant and the stupid. Harsh, not really.The majority have no investment sense or seem to be brainwashed into thinking that banks and banks alone will take care of them as they make a lot of money – right? As alluded to above the banks are growing at the cost of the customer – nickel and dime fee’s for everything, substandard returns on rrsp mutual funds and other investments. How many of those bank products are still showing a loss when the markets have made a sharp bounce back from March 09?

    The worst commercial of all are the Scotia Itrade ones. It gives a wrong impression of customer control and superior service, when in fact it’s trading system has been riddled with bugs for months, and customers are powerless to do anything with their investments. Trying to reach someone has been met with wait times in excess of 45 minutes and then you’re met with rude, unprofessional CSR’s.

    Since this is about investing I say DD is an absolute must and when met with poor service, bring it up to the president, never mind about going through their own internal procedures with more CSR’s. And if not improved after 1 business week – move your account.

    I’m relatively young and retired decades earlier from the norm. Taking control of my own investments and cutting the banking incompetent leeches have made it possible for me to get to this point.

  5. JC

    Mar 6 2010

    I can’t stand most of the bank commercials. You’d think that TD, a company that posted over a billion dollars profit last quarter (and some before that), could come up with better commercials.

    Hadn’t seen the Ally ones until today from Ellen’s blog. Cute first time round.

  6. Joe

    Mar 7 2010

    Another tempest in a teapot. If you white, bleeding heart liberals are so worried about those in third world countries, why don’t you do something to help them? No, it’s easier to moan about a cheesy commercial and pretend to be caring people than it is to actually help. At least that way you attain the ever-so-important appearance of being considerate.

  7. second opinion mike

    Mar 9 2010

    Wow, I did not realize so many people were so wound up about commercials.

    I actually find the grumpy men commercials quite funny. Apparently, finding humour in a situation is not politically correct these days. While not a big fan of the “dumb husband ads”, I just pvr past them and enjoy my show or flip to a 24 hour news channel for a minute.

    As for banks being any worse a leech than any other company….well, they are fun to hate at times!
    ex-banker

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