We're just like you (with money!)

Back in the '70s and '80s, it was all the rage for banks to emphasize their humanity. Maybe it had something to do with our post-Vietnam, post-Watergate loss of faith in our institutions and the rise of the impersonal corporate culture; or maybe it was just the effect of decades of media portrayals of cold-hearted bankers, from Mr. Potter to Mr. Mooney.

At any rate, this 1976 People's Bank billboard is one of the simpler, more effective messages. Today, bank ads seem all seem to be more about what their loans and other products can help you achieve. In other words, it used to be all about them. Now it's all about you. I think the ads were better though, when it was all about them.


A friend art directed an ad for one of the first banks to introduce ATMs in NY in the early 80s. Side by side photos of teller & ATM with headline: Which would you rather go to? It was assumed nobody would want to deal with machines, and that ATMs would be a passing fad.
Craig McNamara said…
Maybe someday, after the machines take over, the billboard will again become relevant.

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