I have been watching with interest this new advertising message that a few of the bigger banks are using (Washington Mutual and Capital One spring to mind). Washington Mutual has billboards up all over the Seattle area with the mug of a sourly looking older gentleman with captions like “free checking? I was born rich, not stupid” or “free checks for life? Over my butler’s dead body”. I am sure I am not getting them exactly right, but it is the correct sentiment.
Capital One has these great tv commercials that have tiny little Lilliputian people that are supposed to represent small business owners. The big bankers actually catch them on fire with their magnifying glass.
I assume that Washington Mutual is trying to say that all other banks are owned and run by a bunch of thoughtless rich guys. Probably, Capital One is trying to say that other banks are careless and clueless when it comes to small business owners.
I find it really interesting that these two major players are trying to separate themselves from their categories. They are basically saying, ‘we know banks stink, but we are different’.
Then you look at credit unions. In Washington State, there is a co-op of credit unions (a co-op of co-ops, if you will) that have pooled our resources with the main mission of spreading the word about credit unions. We feel that the credit union category is a good one and if more people knew about them, we would all be better off.
In essence, we are trying to do exactly the opposite of what banks are doing right now. Banks are trying to distance themselves from their reputation, while we are trying to embrace ours.
Credit unions currently have about 6% market share in the financial industry. That seems so odd to me. It seems like people complain about their banks (they must or WAMU and Capital One would not spend as much money as they have in recognizing that fact). Why don’t more people join a credit union? I don’t know.
No biography available.