Den Danske Bank has a new campaign out where they can slap their label "The new normal" on practically any controversial staged news image shot by Peter Funch. The campaign is created by the ad agency named Mensch. The entire campaign is so hypocritical it's making Danes blood boil and people are raging everywhere from forums to newspapers about it.
In newspaper Politiken the headline reads: Hey bankers, do you think we've forgotten that you are the über-bad guys?, Danish Kommunikationsforum even goes so far to dig up images that compare shots from the Occupy movement to Den Danske Bank ad, to a Benetton campaign. Tobias Lau at Børsen dubs the campaign "the worst piece of communication of 2012", and the Danish arm of Occupy even bothered to reply with a spoof full of typos. "Nice pictures and music in the video of yours, but must you misuse a humanitarian movement?" it asks.
The Danish Bank already announced their strategy a while back, but people are reacting by recoiling. "The strategy is intended to restore trust in the Bank and ensure that we live up to our new vision of being "Recognised as the most trusted financial partner". In order to reach that objective, we must set new standards for banking operations." It doesn't looke like you are gaining trust here, Danske Bank, as nearly every commenter is bringing up the fact that Danske Bank has closed branches in small towns, refused loans to small businesses letting them bankrupt instead, and the bank is still seen as one of the larger faults of the housing market crash in Denmark. In the board of Danske bank there are exactly 0 women, so the spoof of Licia Ronzulli and her baby in parliament only serves to remind the viewer of this, instead of inspiring hope of a changing business-world as was probably intended. On Facebook people are stabbing the Bank with sarcastic comments: "Sure you can call it new standards when you move 300 jobs to Litauen", "Yes, the world keeps changing but you keep thinking only about yourselves".
And Jesper Nykjær Knudsen rants: "it is rare for an ad to get my blood boiling. But the new campaign from Danske Bank is like being kicked in the balls. "A new normal demands new standards", preach it with an image page, which rather resembles a commercial for Amnesty International, accompanied by the saved images of wind turbines, homo-love and god-help-me, also Occupy Wall Street. Hello, bank-types, will have us believe that in now will be a kind of socially beneficial institution rather than a profit-focused business? And do you think we have already forgotten that, as a part of the banking system is one of the über bad guys in the current economic situation the world finds itself in now? You could start with an advertisement with the slogan "Forgive us", followed by a marked drop in pay for those people whose greedy decisions and frayed morality is an essential part of the problem. It would be new standards, we at least would consider to take seriously."
Danish trade-mag Markedsføring has a quick interview with Camilla Dahl Hansen about the campaign. It has actually tested well, she says, in all markets. "Now I look forward to seing how it's received" she adds. Gonna be a hard comedown on Monday girl.
Here's the problem that some clients forget . We can't put lipstick on a pig , the consumer will still know it's a pig. If your company wants to run around saying that it is green, first act green. Make sure you don't buy 450 single-use only non biodegradable plastic bags for giveaways filled with trinkets branding how green you are, for example. (and that's a real world example). You have no women in your board of directors? Fix that before you use the image of a woman in a mans world as your branding image.
Here it seems Danske Bank wanted to brand globalisation, working mothers without access to daycare, factory working, and 1st world protests as "the new normal" as a cool thing. In a country that used to pride itself on their social justice, commune living, daycare for all, factory work with reasonable hours and local community. Is the new normal being really out of touch with the people who used to bank with you? I'm saying "used to" as I expect people to move as much money away from you as they can right now, as loudly as they are complaining. Else they too might be a tad hypocritical.
Den mærkevarestrategi Danske Bank manipulerer frem, giver kvalme. Overflade uden indhold. Stop fyringerne og tag ansvar istedet!
— Søren Moth (@smothf) November 25, 2012
(That Danske Bank ad makes me sick. Surface without content. Stop firing people and take responsibility instead!)