I saw an ad the other day for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in People Magazine. Yes, you read that last line correctly.
Should I be concerned? Keep in mind that the FDIC pretty much has a monopoly on protecting checking and savings accounts in this country. It was established in the early 1930’s as a response to the widespread bank failures of the Great Depression.
So why exactly would they need to advertise at all? The first thing that comes to mind is that consumer confidence is down, and they feel the need to reassure everyone that at least some of their money is protected.
I can’t really imagine anyone thinking, “The FDIC really isn’t doing a good job of protecting my money. There are bank runs occurring every day now. I need to find a new federally mandated insurance program for these accounts of mine.”
Isn’t that kind of why corporations advertise in the first place? To gain extra customers?
Does the FDIC think that ads reminding us that they exist will stimulate the economy by themselves?
This campaign reminds me a lot of the “GOT MILK?” ads. Who are they competing with, anyway? Buttermilk conglomerates? Soy milk companies? Perhaps (and I shudder at the thought) they are worried about powdered milk making a run for their business.
Please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but in my experience, people either drink or consume milk already in some form, or they are lactose-intolerant. I know that there are some who simply don’t like it, but this seems more rare. I am simply not their target market.
Why isn’t the International Bread Board advertising? I can see a great campaign forming in my mind’s eye right now. Maybe they could even join forces with the milk folks:
GOT MILK AND BREAD?
The egg producers are certainly a confident lot. I don’t recall ever seeing a “Which came first?” ad for those guys. Perhaps other grocery staple items need to follow suit.
I remember in college during my advertising and marketing classes that I first learned why Coke and Pepsi continue to advertise so heavily, because a very small move in market share translates to millions (or billions) of dollars. THAT I understand. However, have the milk ads really made an impact on milk sales? Here’s a scene straight from a dairy executive’s dream:
MR. SMITH: Honey, what do we need at the store?
MRS. SMITH: Well, I was going to get some buttermilk for the children’s cereal, but I saw an ad with Michael Jordan where he had a milk mustache. I say we try this new-fangled regular milk I keep hearing about.
MR. SMITH: It’s crazy, but it just might work.