There’s this commercial that’s been running lately for Citibank. Two businessmen are sitting in a cafe talking about sales and bonuses as their waitress pours them some coffee. She then looks into the parking lot and sees some skateboard hooligans, one of whom is boorishly leaning up against her classic Mercedes SL convertible. She goes to the door and understandably raises her voice: “Hey! Get off my car.” The kids leave, she goes back in and asks the guys if they need anything else, they say no, and she goes on about her business as if nothing happened. The two guys stare outside at the car, as if they hadn’t noticed it before. The car is nothing special, just a nice 50’s era Mercedes, but they don’t say anything, they just stare. The narrator then says “Get free one-on-one financial guidance at every Citibank branch, personalized to help you meet your dreams.”
I wouldn’t want anyone leaning up on my classic car either (if I had one), but it took me awhile to figure out the point. At first, I thought this woman was absconding with “free financial guidance” from these two guys coming in every day to talk about their corporate sales figures, but they weren’t financial advisors, so that couldn’t be it. An old Mercedes isn’t that expensive either, so if she was supposed to be some kind of financial guru on a waitress salary who was getting free advice by overhearing it from patrons, it would have been more profound if she had a brand new Mercedes parked out there, rather than an old one which can be quite affordable. Maybe they were just trying to imply that even on her salary, she had a rare classic car due to her smart budgeting and talking to her “Citibank financial advisor”, and these two Wall Street type guys talking about big important business stuff didn’t even notice her until they realized the nice old car was hers.
I figure if that was the point, they could’ve just shown the two guys talking numbers and then noticing the car, they’d begin to talk about how nice it looks as the waitress comes by to pour more coffee, and they don’t realize it’s hers until she speaks up and says she really enjoys driving it. She would then smile knowingly, ask if they need anything else, and leave them dumbfounded staring at each other. The whole bit with the kids leaning on the car was confusing and unnecessary. I know this is all trite criticism of a stupid commercial, but I was curious if it irked any other Doper critics of television commercial advertising.