Potential pitfalls of local advertising campaigns

The new Chase campaign recently launched in Atlanta is a classic case of inside-out thinking. Some of its billboards read “Banking in Hotlanta just got hotter” with a visual of the Underground. Another one is, “Banking just got a whole lot peachier in Georgia.”

Clearly, the folks at Chase, or their agency, have forgotten the fundamentals of advertising. Let’s review the basics, shall we?

1. Don’t believe everything you think. Just because your brand is a market leader in one part of the country doesn’t mean this will automatically translate to success elsewhere just by announcing your arrival. You still have to differentiate yourselves, and let people know what you stand for that is different from the next guy.

2. Make it count. With so many options for consumers these days, people need to know why it benefits them to do business with you. Take the time to figure out how to translate what you do, what you stand for and what you offer into something meaningful, compelling and relevant to your target. Otherwise, it’s wasted ad dollars.

3. Know the market you’re in. Do not patronize the South when advertising in the South, for example. Find out how people really talk about their city. No one says “Hotlanta” anymore . No one goes to the Underground. And we’re pretty sure the vast majority of the city’s population, which consists of transplants from other little towns like New York City, do NOT say “y’all” or “peachy.”

Wake up, Chase. Lest you find yourselves looking out the windows of your Manhattan offices at a campaign that reads, “SunTrust Bank – Taking a bite out of the Big Apple.” Or better yet, “Come bank with us, youse guys.”



Filed under local advertising

6 responses to “Potential pitfalls of local advertising campaigns

  1. I thought the exact same thing when I saw those billboards! They remind me of one from years ago that referenced Rhett and Scarlett (can’t remember who the advertiser was, which is a whole ‘nother problem). I totally agree!

  2. Ellen-
    Sounds to me as if there is potentially an opening to go after Chase’s southeast advertising biz. Whale hunting. You guys certainly could make a compelling case that you know the SE market better than any Madison Ave. located type. Nothing to lose….

    • kilgannonsays

      Fortunately, we have a great relationship with Georgia Federal Credit Union and won’t be doing any whale hunting anytime soon.

  3. jeff

    Spot on. What a useless campaign and billboard.

  4. Wayne

    I find the “outrage” hilarious. This sums up Atlanta — Never comfortable in its own skin.

  5. Adam

    The Bert Show, this morning on Q100, was talking about this very thing. The term “Hotlanta” is out-dated. Better research would have shown that residents of Atlanta use the term “ATL” more than they do “Hotlanta.”


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