Bailout Marketing Going Wrong

Sign of the times
photo credit: JimFenton

I received a slick, expensive, 20-page brochure in the mail the other day from Bank of America, promoting its home loans and other excellent attributes. It was thick, colorful, printed on heavy (unrecycled) paper, with only a single “impact” word on several of the pages; my favorite of these was “Confidence,” a clear case of whistling past the graveyard. My wife (a marketer) grabbed the thing, sniffed at it, and said, “My tax dollars at work.”

People today in the middle of their own financial crisis don’t want to see expensive marketing promotions in their mailbox advertising all of their wonderful attributes about their company. They consider it almost to be a slap in the face when they see these companies using their bailout money on such fancy marketing tools. Rather, what they actually want to see is some sort of a sincere message, as suggested on HarvardBusiness.

Something along the lines of an apology for the current role that the company played in any sort of distress that was caused to the person, an apology letting them know they still are appreciated and that the company is working hard to rectify any distressful situation that was caused. Those types of messages and marketing would seem worth the effort, paper and postage to mail it.

What are your thoughts on companies using their bailout money for such fancy marketing?

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