So in this black and white TV ad for NatWest, we asked the viewers to hold the bank to accountable for its actions.
Even though the vignettes are, ostensibly, a reflection of the diversity and complicated lives of the public, the assertions work equally well as an expression of the advertised bank’s personality. It – like us – has been “thoughtless” as well as “thoughtful”; “cruel” as well as “kind” and so on. It has a confessional quality as it seeks empathy for its very human traits.
The stark monochrome imagery combines with an insistent voiceover to command the attention and this certainly creates a sense of gravitas for the bank. With many of the conditions which caused the 2008 crash still unresolved, the possibility of another crisis is never far away, maybe a perfect opportunity to be reassuring about our ability to offer financial shelter, if the worst should happen? We thought so.