Advertising (interview with konstantin kostin, head of the advertising department of a bank)

Recently, advertising has been in the forefront as a marketing tool which puts across the bank’s products and the bank’s image. Just look at how the “image” publicity of banks has changed: abstract slogans such as “A speck of gold in a sea of sand” are things we don’t hear anymore. And just think of all those symbols of the power of banks at the beginning of the 90s – a heavy wooden desk, a cellular phone, a Swiss watch. Since then the market has really gone professional. The banks are getting very picky. In response to that there are new ads with very specific and clear business ideas. There’s also that powerful weapon, meaningful silence. That’s also an advertising trick. However, you have to go easy on that. Being silent for too long is just as bad as talking about yourself too often. Particularly in tough spots on the financial markets. I think that some of the silent banks should come out with their positions not just obliquely, but through direct advertising.
The major goal of the advertising department is to provide advertising in support of the bank’s development. I don’t have any abstract goals. Like getting a hundred billion. There’s a plan to sell the image. There’s a timetable to provide ads for the products the bank is pushing, and, by the way, that accounts for a quarter of the estimate.
As I see it, getting information to the public through publications and stories by experienced journalists is a lot better than going the direct advertising route. After all, a good journalist is seen as an expert by the public. People have less belief in direct advertising, but that doesn’t mean it should be dropped. Public opinion, in addition to information from all kinds of articles and TV programs, needs something more. And also, a major bank just can’t beat around the bush.
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A few words about the creative side of all this. Here the biggest problem is just coming up with an idea. A good ad idea works on its own and pays for itself. It’s got its own worth, in addition to the publicity value it has for a commercial organization. Like a work of art. In the bank world, of course, everyone wants to toot his own horn. For example, look at the ad for our Visa card, an elephant with a text on the side “Buy an elephant,” and the other side of the moon with the text “Shoot for the moon.” It got a prize at several festivals; the number of sales of the card after the ad campaign really soared. In fact, there are already a lot of credit cards like this on the market, and they’re all pretty much alike; here the key to it all can be the ad. Though it’s true that many things in advertising are intuitive, and it’s not so easy to link them to the final result.


Advertising (interview with konstantin kostin, head of the advertising department of a bank)