The other night I saw an advertisement for the Bank of Montreal, or BMO as they like to market themselves these days. That’s not a typo, BMO is their trading symbol, and they like you to say it as a word not as individual initials, as in Beemo. The ad caught my attention because of its soundtrack; We‘ve Gotta Get Out Of This Place by The Animals.
Having lured me in with a classic oldie, I watched the ad play out. A guy is sitting at a PC in a darkened room, apparently he gets the go ahead for a mortgage, giving him great cheer. He gets up to celebrate. In so doing he steps on and activates a child’s toy, the sound of which gets a child, whom we now see in a crib, worked up and crying. This in turn leads to waking up a weird looking older man in a bed. What he’s doing there is anyone’s guess.
The very odd setting aside, there was something very familiar about the advertisement. It was not just the golden oldie audio, but something told me I had seen this before. Advertising deja vu Then it struck me. The University of Phoenix, those advertising fiends, have an ad in which a woman, upon being accepted for a risk free three week trial, gets up from her PC in her darkened room, does her own victory dance, steps on a toy and almost wakes her baby. essentially the exact same ad, but without the weird old guy in the bed.
BMO might want to consider getting a new advertising agency, especially if the next spot the current one suggests revolves around socks. If they propose a scene where a guy goes in for a loan and he and the bank guy are both wearing blue BMO socks, best give it a swerve.