Ally Bank’s Better Free Checking Ad
If you are in the market for a new checking account and came across a full-page magazine ad from a bank, which headline would most likely grab your attention?
#1 “What you like about checking. Minus what you don’t.”
#2 “A checking account should accumulate interest. Not fees.”
I’ve encountered two different checking account ads from Ally Bank in the past two weeks. Both are full-page ads appearing in major magazines.
Personally, I believe one is much better than the other.
Did you choose #1 or #2?
My preference is #2 as it immediately gets at the issue of checking account fees – which is a hot topic in today’s media with all the attention surrounding the new fees being added to checking accounts by the mega-banks. Fees are particularly important if you are seeking a free checking account.
Here’s the ad with the first headline. It appears in the February 28, 2011, issue of Fortune magazine.
Here’s the ad with the headline I prefer. It appears in the March 7 issue of Bloomberg Businessweek magazine.
Not only does this ad have a more informative headline, the copy line under the stylized “a” is an excellent testimonial for Ally Bank’s free checking account – even though the bank never refers to it as free checking.
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance identifies the Ally Bank Interest Checking Account as “One of the best ‘no fees, no strings’ checking accounts.”
Although it doesn’t come from a satisfied customer, this testimonial is likely much more persuasive as it comes from the nation’s first magazine devoted exclusively to offering financial advice that’s easily understood by most Americans. Founded in 1947, Kiplinger’s is a familiar brand and well-respected publication.
You can read more about the power of testimonials in the March issue of the ACTON Marketing newsletter here.
One would like to think that the marketing folks at Ally Bank are testing ad copy here but I’m not sure how they would determine which ad generates more response. Testing is one thing – getting accurate and actionable response data is quite another.
All I know for sure is that Ally Bank owns both the Internet and national magazines when it comes to aggressively promoting both the bank and free checking accounts. Too bad they don’t call their account Ally Bank Free Checking.