In a vast sea of sameness, Credit Suisse unveiled a distinctive global advertising campaign last month. It’s a good campaign and a good message.
The financial crisis and the vilification of banks have made big-splash branding campaigns a rarity among financial firms. Most have scuttled advertising entirely or narrowed it to focus mainly on products. Others, notably Goldman Sachs, have used advertising as part of program to address public issues. (Like: “Why do we need high priced bankers, exactly?”)
The Credit Suisse campaign is smart, thoughtful and well executed. And it emphasizes the client rather than the firm, avoiding the all-too-common tendency for investment banks to tout their own greatness.
The ads also exude a confidence and optimism that have been lacking in finance and business generally. They’re also a sharp poke in the eye of their cross-town Zurich rival, UBS, which has stumbled badly. Always good to see banking is still a contact sport.
Credit Suisse hasn’t been immune from the market’s turmoil or the usual ups and downs of global banking, but it deserves praise for stepping out from their shadow. Bravo.