Monday, November 23, 2009

Poor illustration to promote credit card scheme

What's wrong with this picture? What's wrong with this flyer?

A lot.

The flyer blares, "Pay next year!" Wow. Sounds like a great deal. But the problem is not the deal, it's the way it was being communicated to its cardholders.

Credit cards are not money. It's a loan that you will have to pay back in interest.

What makes me sad is the depiction of BDO's flyer - using Christmas to illustrate the "fun side" of borrowing money. Check out the bunch of receipts piling up to form a cute Christmas tree. To me, this promo is plainly saying that you will be in debt - deep debt. Is that any way of starting your new year?

I cannot believe that my bank, Banco de Oro, came out with this poor illustration promoting their scheme. I do not know who the genius behind this flyer is and I am sure sad why people approved this illustration.

The banks will not help you become responsible savers as this illustration shows. It's cultivating the wrong culture. They don't care if you're deep in debt for as long as their benchmarks are reached.

Why can't they use images that promote care and responsibility? Why not show a picture of a family man using BDO credit cards to pay for a family's medical bills? Or why not show a businessman buying computers to supplement his internet cafe business? Why can't we show something more positive and progressive? Wouldn't this be the most proper way of promoting, "Pay next year!"?

The Philippine Ad Congress just finished its conference. We MUST IMPROVE our communications for the benefit of our patrons.


  1. first, let us put the material and promo in context. this is supposed to be a Christmas promotion, and Christmas entails spending, whether for gifts or rewards to oneself--certainly not for medical bills because that would be depressing. haha.

    second, the whole point of having a credit card is debt, debt, debt, spend, spend, spend: having plastic money in case you run out of moolah for emergency situations, to be able to buy ON CREDIT if the bag you want want costs at least twice your monthly why be furious about the idea of debt? that's the point of getting a credit card, see? if you don't like debt and interests, then terminate your credit card and just get a debit card. it's a matter of personal choice.

    third, a bank whether it be Banco de Offline or Rural Bank of La la Land is a business enterprise. Consumer spending is good for them, but spending, too, is a matter of self control. "Why can't we show something more positive and progressive?" Sir, may i ask you to define "progressive"? as far as i know, consumer spending contributes to the progress of an enterprise...and its employees, and to the government it pays its taxes to. if you end up deep debt, it just shows that you lack sufficient self control, and surely you don't have to blame the bank for it.

    fourth, you were agit to death by the communications of the flyer but it simply shows a pile of receipts--indications of spending, which we anticipate every christmas season, because the way i see it, you've invented a subtext of sorts, which isn't really a subtext...having a credit card means spending and debt, as simple and as obvious as that, stark staring naked.

    peace, labs you. hahahahaha

  2. Tomato Cafe, I don't think BDO's intended communication was achieved. The first time I got the flyer, it didn't come across the way you're saying it like. Are credit cards just for shopping? Isn't it for emergencies?

    This concept wasn't a thoroughly studied concept and it only tickled my senses - at best.

    It's sad that we equate credit cards with shopping. We should bring up the level of communication a notch higher.

    And as for the depressing hospital concept I shared - hey, that's reality. Now, wouldn't it be of great value to BDO if I, the consumer, see that and BDO suggested other ways of using their products and services? Another point, 2009 is not a happy year with all the tragedies that's happening - so to see that credit cards could help me in such situations is a relief.

    Thus, this BDO illustration insulted me and it gives the bank only one reason why I should come up with a credit card.

  3. "I don't think BDO's intended communication was achieved."

    - i second the motion.


    "Why can't they use images that promote care and responsibility? Why not show a picture of a family man using BDO credit cards to pay for a family's medical bills? Or why not show a businessman buying computers to supplement his internet cafe business?...(rest of the blog)"

    - Dear, the emotional attack is an overused consumer motivation of most ATLs to the point that only the best and most creative ideas can put new zest to it. I don't agree with your suggestion or whatever you may want to call it, to gear the key points or messages of their ads towards something depressing etc... :)

    given that, I believe that the best that BDO should have done with their ad is not to tickle the emotions (as they want people to spend diba..) but to communicate prestige or status through the use of the card, diba? mas better un.

    :)bati tayo tomato cafe

  4. Studies on actual consumer behavior would indicate that most people actually use their credit cards for shopping and sometimes for emergencies--let me reiterate, SOMETIMES for emergencies, as in the case of the recent flooding.

    The communication is targeted to people who use their credit cards to buy gadgets etc.(kindly see the inside pages to reveal list of merchants haha), people who want to buy something for themselves this Christmas. It's not as if those accumulated receipts
    are grudge purchases. If they want to buy an iPod, why would i suggest that they go to St. Lukes?

    In the end, we just have to put this argument in context. It's Christmas and everyone's buying and every enterprise is promoting.

    Now come to think of it, we can actually use the credit card this Christmas for emergency purposes, for example if we choke (to death) in the noche buena. Unfortunately, there are no hospitals in the list of merchants. :D

  5. ako ba ang sinasagot mo nian...? hahahahhaha :P

  6. Nope. No smoke in that argument. Why do I want to see a surmounting pile of CREDIT card bills when all this illustration seem to suggest is I'm going to be in debt during Christmas.

    I think it's irresponsible to show that the only choice I have to take advantage of this promo is to spend a lot and make it appear that it's fun to be in debt. No matter how much we defend it, let's be real and say this illustration is not the best way to promote their scheme.

    Now, that's the context of this.