Bimbo Banter

Finding Their Way?

  • Crisis
  • May 11, 2018
  • by Merrie Spaeth

Wells Fargo has a new, multi-million-dollar ad campaign aimed at convincing consumers that its well-publicized regulatory problems have been settled. (Recap: Wells has been fined over a billion and a half dollars to settle revelations that it opened hundreds of thousands of accounts that weren’t authorized by customers; allowing it to charge them fees by taking out unneeded and unauthorized mortgage and auto insurance.) The ad initiative, called “Trust,” is excellent. The narrative is compelling, with images harkening back to their founding frontier days combined with customers moving forward. Who hasn’t seen pictures of the Wells Fargo stagecoach forging ahead to deliver passengers, cargo and money boxes? The key line: “We always found our way until we lost it.” 

What’s missing? People, actual bank employees taking ownership and delivering the line in addition to the compelling ad. I’m a Wells mortgage holder and just called to change my address on my account. I got an account rep who was professional but didn’t take the opportunity of this person-to-person interaction to say, “We really appreciate your business and we’re dedicated to living up to the line in our advertisements about justifying your trust.”

Advertising is still a key medium and the impact of social media is well documented— but nothing, nothing—replaces the impact of person-to-person communication where we can hear and experience genuine connection.

Wells has people in its ads. Where are they in its communication?

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