March 13, 2007

Fluffy finance for the gullible

This is what happens in the TV ad for Ocean Finance.

  • Colours are dull and washed out.
  • Dork Dad prepares to cut the overgrown lawn on his tiny 20' x 20' garden.
  • Sad Mum looks on pityingly.
  • Dork Dad struggles with tiddly lawnmower.
  • Sad Mum, children and dog look on pityingly
  • Voiceover draws a metaphor: overbearing lawn = nightmare finances
  • v/o: Cut bills down to size (see what they're doing here - no imagination spared)
  • Lawnmower explodes
  • Sun shines.
  • Lovely sharp colours.
  • Dork Dad drives tractor mower.
  • v/o: Bla bla bla raise money bla bla bla talk to us free.
  • Everyone smiles
It's clear that Dork Dad and Sad Mum are heading for a divorce. Unless she's an idiot, Mum will wonder why her lazy arse of a husband needs a tractor mower for such a little garden. By the same rule, spending a weekend going over their finances and actually talking to their bloody bank would negate the need to talk to a loan shark company.
Funnily enough, this particularly nasty subset of the finance industry was recently investigated by the OFT after complaints about hard-sell and lack of information (e.g. interest rates of over 10%).
A few years ago Ocean ran a dreadful little ad that has been much parodied. It was awful because of its forced friendliness, lulling the gullible and the desperate into making that one phone call that would propel them into a possibly worse situation.
But wolves can be fluffy and cute and still rip your throat out.

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