Monday, August 20, 2012

Rabobank looks like IceSave in German Eyes

Following a thoughtful post this afternoon (in Dutch) from a Dutch High School lecturer Sander Janssens, I watched the Rabobank videos he found. It's classic case of a Dutch bank trying to be funny but ending up making themselves look like untrustworthy cowboys instead offering great interest rates because they run a tight ship. There are indeed lots of clich├ęs about the Dutch and their love of caravans, but having seen this video reminds me more of the Icesave banking scandal than anything else. Wonder how the Rabobank could be so obtuse?

I often try reversing the situation. If a German bank did the same sort of thing to attract the trust of Dutch investors, how would they react? I think they would run a mile. Compare that with the humour used in this caravan duel between Holland and Germany made in 2006.

And may be you recall the Gunther MTV Netherlands Commercials which bust all sorts of things back in 2006. They were commissioned by a Dutch bureau JonDoe to help launch the local versions of MTV. It was shot in New Zealand I believe by Steve Ayson, through the boutique production house called The Sweet Shop. Apparently one of the actors is well-known in New Zealand - I guess a little inside joke. 

Yet, Rabobank in Australia has shown it can support a rugby team that strives to go international- the RaboDirect Rebels and communicate the pride in local support in Melbourne with this Australian TV commercial.

All this reminds me of the ads made by HSBC in their "local bank" campaigns. 

The ads were good, but the local banks then came under scrutiny for any local cultural and financial mistakes. And, of course, the bank made plenty. 

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