Theory and Practice.


Astoria Federal Savings is spending a million dollars plus in a new marketing push. They’ve renamed the bank Astoria Bank because, so the logic goes, removing references to the gub-ment will make them less villainous in the post subprime mortgage fiasco world. Adding to the bank’s bill is a new campaign about customer-centricity.

Rather than use a strategy person who goes into branches and does field work, perhaps making a recommendation or two about the customer experience,” Astoria turned to a copywriter. Someone, who clearly doesn’t get out of the building.

Here is a copy snippet from an ad today:

“Astoria is not your usual bank. We love what we do and we love who we do it for. And that makes a difference – one you’ll feel the moment you step into one of our branches or use our mobile app or bank online.” (Do you believe this claim? Do you really think one step into a branch will make a consumer feel differently? This is Santa Claus stuff.)

More copy:

“We’re not here to just hold your money and sell you products. We built this bank one conversation at a time. We take the time to get to know your story, so we can give you the right business or personal decision.”

This copy is all theory. Not a lick of practice. Not a lick of proof. I apologize to any and all writers, creative directors and bank approvers involved in writing this stuff (the radio is the same), but this blather is what gives the ad craft a black eye. People remember substance. People remember proof. People do not remember copy. Let’s go Astoria. Get out there and start mining proof.