A Confusing Ad from Ally Bank
This Ally Bank ad jumped off the page last week as I was scanning the recent issue of Fast Company magazine. It grabbed my attention because of its totally new look and feel. It’s unlike all previous Ally Bank magazine ads.
It’s the visual that makes it so different. Looking at it reminds me of a print-out from a lie detector, an EKG machine, and a seismograph for recording earthquake frequency and intensity.
Over many years of seeing this visual, we have come to recognize the ups and downs as being either a normal rhythm or aberrations from the norm – depending on what’s being measured or recorded.
In this particular situation, we are given a clue on the left side of the page.
Apparently, each move upward is the result of some fee being charged.
Now for the confusion.
On the right side of the page, the upward movements still appear but less frequently and in some pattern. Yet, there are no explanations above the printout as there are on the left side.
As a result, I suspect that, like me, most readers will interpret this to mean that the Ally Bank Online Savings Account has only a monthly fee – hence the consistent spacing between blips.
I found this disturbing as I was under the impression that the Ally Bank checking and savings accounts were free of a monthly service fee.
This drove me immediately to the bank’s website where I confirmed that this account has NO MONTHLY SERVICE FEE.
So what gives with this magazine ad?
Exactly what message is the ad’s creative team trying to convey with this confusing visual?
Had I been a member of the ad’s creative team I would have pushed for the right side of the chart or printout to remain a near perfect horizontal line – thereby telling readers there are no periodic fees associated with this account.
Take another look at the ad above and imagine the printout bearing only a flat line on the right.
Perhaps I’m missing something here. If so, please comment below and let me know how you interpret this chart or printout.
Sometimes I wonder what must go on in these agency creative meetings and the follow-up creative review meetings with the client. To me, the visual in this full-page ad is very confusing to the point of being misleading.
Do you agree? Share your thoughts below.