afaqs!

Barclaycard: Time to let the customer grow up

By , agencyfaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | February 06, 2008
In an ad for Barclaycard, McCann has ridiculed the way other banks treat their customers like children

Financial & #BANNER1 & # advertising seems to be child's play at the moment. In an ad for Barclaycard, the creative minds at McCann-Erickson have taken that thought and turned it on its head. The ad quite clearly takes the stance that while every other bank offering a credit card treats its customers like children, Barclaycard customers are treated like the intelligent group that they are.

Research by McCann and Barclays revealed that customers feel that banks bombard them with irrelevant products and services, and then patronise them by explaining how each service will benefit them. "Our endeavour is to bring out the fact that a Barclaycard holder is intelligent enough to manage and control his finances," says Akshay Kapnadak, creative director, McCann-Erickson.

A still from the Barclaycard ad
The ad opens on a shot of a man walking into a bank, where he is treated like a child at every step. When he makes an enquiry, he is shushed by the bank employees because another customer is sleeping nearby in his "cradle". Another employee is cooing at adult customers in a playpen of sorts. He then watches adult customers sporting party caps and whistles. Finally, an employee attends to him, but begins boring him with the terms of his credit card. In the middle of his monotonous spiel, he starts pinching the cheeks of the harried customer. A voiceover explains that with a Barclays card, no one will treat you like a child, and you will get to control your finances the way you want to. The tagline goes, "It's your card. You know best." (Submit your opinion on this ad.)

The ad talks of the credit card's features such as credit limit, flexible billing cycles and repayment options. The approach in the ad uses the idea of communicating "adult to adult", while the communication is a blatant statement on the competition, admits Kapnadak. "Most banks tend to offer irrelevant freebies to customers, almost like lollipops," he says, explaining how the idea for the ad emerged.

The ad has been directed by Shoojit Sircar of Rising Sun Films.