WHY DON'T YOU LIKE US?
Everyone knows this truth of life: a blockbuster movie that fails in all the wrong blockbuster ways is far LESS offensive than an 'art-house movie' that fails in smaller, more smug ways -- like overly didactic messages, overly written scenes, or too-cute soundtracks and sets.
With this in mind...
THE FBO BANS THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION FOR THREE YEARS
Their 'Talk to Chuck' campaign has bugged us since it began in September 2005. The 30-second commercials feature the same rotoscoping animation technique from Richard Linklater's films Waking Life or A Scanner Darkly and Ah Ha's 'Take On Me' video.
But it's not the animation that gets us.
Chuck Schwab has long fancied itself as the upstart, 'irreverent' -- to use an overused word that never means what it claims -- financial services corporations, whose ads campaigns in this past have used humor to take shots at the big-boy brokers like Morgan Stanley and the like. They switched to these ads, featuring talking heads of -- to use Schwab's website's words -- 'pain points' of individual investors who are upset with the rhetoric at other companies.
But their subjects -- unlikeable, dismissive, outright angry, and most importantly more occupied by day-to-day tasks (getting meats at a deli, playing golf, barbecuing imported Argentine steaks in their backyard). They may be upset at other broker companies, but it feels like THEY DON'T LIKE US!
They are also rich. Schwab's target audience, per their website, is 35 to 45-year-olds with $100,000 to invest -- not exactly the click you end up talking with much at the company picnic.
Why ban it? For improper marketing technique.
In each ad, it feels like the character is as dismissive with us (the viewer) as Schwab's hidden competition. They use an artful technique, perhaps to be hip and modern, perhaps to keep the focus on what they're SAYING some have unsatisfactorily argued.
Per a USA Today article, Chuck Schwab vice president of brand strategy/advertising (for the time period) Ben Stuart, explains the ads are about 'being candid and real.' The ads try to tell investors, he claims, 'you can talk, and we're here to listen.'
Then why the disdain towards us?
For his credit, the animator Bob Sabiston (who worked on Linklater's films) isn't 100% happy with it. He told USA Today 'I hate ads, but I owed my artists employment.'
Let's keep it clean, Chuck.
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY