Australia Hates Goodby Silverstein's Michael Bay Bank Ad
It seems a new commercial for Australia's Commonwealth Bank has the land of down under angry for two reasons: the bank left Australian agencies behind and came to American agency Goodby Silverstein to create the work. And, secondly, they think the campaign, itself, sucks. Even Australian ad legend John Singleton got in on the hating and called on the bank's CEO to pull the ad because it is "obscene" and a "waste of money."
Obscene, we're not sure about. A waste of money, maybe. The ad, itself, is very insiderish. It's set in a conference room where the ad is being presented to the bank. The camera then pans back to show the conference room in which the commercial has just been presented by the agency to the bank. As the presentation reveals, the commercial was shot by Michael Bay (now appearing in Verizon FiOS commercials) who "used seven helicopters" and is an intended spoof on Bay's and most of the advertising's self-involved granduer.
We understand where Goodby was going with this but it falls flat. There's no "ha, ha" moment. Singleton, who some say is just jealous, told The Daily Telegraph, "I saw it and I thought, 'You're kidding'. You fly to America to get obscene waste-of-money... like that. How can you expect to live in San Francisco and understand the psyche of Australian home buyers?"
Singleton thinks whoever created the ad will be gone in 12 months.
Public relations strategist Bruce Hawker adds, "As far as the industry is concerned, we see it as being self-absorbed. They are talking to themselves. It doesn't have anything to do with the consumers. It is not making themselves stand out as a bank. As far as the industry is concerned it is one of the worst things we've ever seen a bank do. It is tripe and self indulgent."
Perhaps tipping the jealousy card, Hawker explained, They (Commonwealth Bank) pissed a lot of people off when they said an Australian agency couldn't handle the CBA brand account"
To be clear, the ad does suck but does there have to be so much whining over the fact Goodby got the work? Perhaps that was the point of the entire campaign. The bank, as says their tagline, is determined to be different. But not so different that it's like an American ad agency coming in to present something so horrifically bad that it's clearly indicative the agency has no idea how to properly address Australian culture and needs whereas the bank, horrified by this Mad Max-ified American horror show, does. Discuss.