Have you noticed?

Maybe I’m watching too much TV? (c’mon the Commonwealth Games are on!)

But I can’t help notice how many cute ads the big banks are pushing at us.

(BTW – if interested, check out this great piece from We Are Social – explains nicely the five main messages that big brands like the banks rely upon to influence our buying)

But, do you know what?

All their ads are the same.





They use similar lovely, standard images.

They all seem to be targeting every possible customer group.

And all their ‘click-bait‘ or ‘contact us’ is leading us to “what” they do – i.e. superannuation, insurance, investments, loans.

There’s something missing.

In fact, there are a few things missing.



According to the Chairman of Australia’s main business regulator – James Shipton, one of the small things missing is trust.

Just last week, he actually said “…we need confidence that the people in banking and wealth management will keep their promises, acting in our best interests”.



Trust is, no doubt, a ‘biggy’.

But, I actually believe there is something even bigger missing from these cutes ads.

With very slight amendments to the wording, their adverts could be used by the big car companies, travel groups, food companies, entertainment groups and others.

All have similar intents to the banking ads – sell us more of their product.

But there’s something different buying from banks, isn’t there.

It was probably more reflective of the respect the bank managers held when I started banking in the 1960/70s.


What’s their real intent?

It’s all about their intent.

It’s changed considerably since the days more of us respected the role of our local bank manager.

We now take for granted that the banks don’t make a cent out of us unless we buy and use their insurance, investment, superannuation or loans products.

There’s nothing wrong with that.

They make great products, that give us all capabilities that we’d be worse off without them – no question.

But unlike the holiday we take, the PayTV deal we buy, the food we purchase, or the car we drive, what we actually purchase and pay for from the banks isn’t what’s depicted on their cute ads.

It’s their products, that by themselves, don’t get us the images in those ads.

By themselves, the products are usually very good.

Provided that’s what you’re after – a product.

But if you’re after something depicted in those images, like the new house, the education fund for your kids/grandkids, starting your own business, properly looking after and best protecting those special to you or whatever, just think twice.

There is a universe of difference between great product advice and great financial advice.

Those cute images are paid for by groups that don’t make a cent giving financial advice, but make billions giving product advice.

Just think twice as their adverts instinctively grab hold of your emotions.

Aren’t the Commonwealth Games great!



About Jim Stackpool

For nearly 30 years Jim has influenced, coached, and consulted to advisory firms across Australia. As founder of Certainty Advice Group, he leads a like-minded team of professional advisory firms seeking to create greater certainty for their clients. As an author, blogger, columnist, and keynote speaker, Jim is regularly called upon for his professional insights into the advice industry. His latest book Seeking Certainty is available now.

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