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Posts Tagged ‘washington mutual’

WaMu: Please Fire Your Copywriters

In advertising, Branding, Brands, communications, Consumers, marketing, strategy on June 14, 2008 at 7:49 am


Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

Dear WaMu,

There are a few issues with rebranding that I’d like to bring to your attention. First of all, there is little that you can do to distract people from the fact that your stock and business are in the toilet. In these situations most companies take the predictable approach of working to reaffirm their commitment to their consumers and to regenerate trust. You, dear WaMu, have decided to go in a different direction.

You’ve tried to brand what you are calling a “Whoo hoo!” moment. What they heck is a “Whoo hoo!” moment?! It continues to make me believe that you are opening a line of red-light massage parlors and yet, it seems as though they are just banks.

I get the fact that you are a nicer bank. One that historically has given really big loans to people that didn’t necessarily deserve them. That was really nice of you even though it doesn’t seem to have worked out so well. And even if that isn’t quite what you were getting at here, you have to remember that you are a freakin’ bank! Unless your ATMs add zeros to my account you probably aren’t going to elicit a Whoo hoo from me.

This strikes me as the result of a bad focus group laddering exercise where someone says they want a bank that makes them feel happy. The moderator asks, ‘what does happy feel like?’ and they say ‘joy.’ The moderator probes, ‘what does joy feel like?’ Eventually someone says “Whoo hoo!” and WaMu starts printing posters.

And don’t even get me started on the stupidity of spending money to put arrows right outside the bank. It’s as if you’ve discovered a segment of mouth breathers who only stare straight at the ground when they walk and didn’t notice that they were right next to a WaMu. If this is how spend your own money in a crisis I’m not sure it’s the safest place for my money.