A few weeks ago I was watching TV and saw a new commercial for ING Financial Services. (Yes, I still watch commercials. Yes, I am still living in the 20th century.) In this ad, a cat was stuck in a tree and, despite the best efforts of numerous people, no one could rescue the trapped feline. After a short while, a woman sitting nearby on an ING bench opened a can of cat food, the cat scampered down, and the problem was solved. The morale of the story being that life is easier thanks to ING.
Prior to its release, ING issued a press release explaining the ad, stating,
the spot emphasizes that the secret to making life easier could be as simple as choosing ING for your financial services.
The press release also described the importance of the ING bench to the company.
A unifying symbol in ING’s campaign is the iconic ING Bench. The ING Bench is a respite or safe vantage point in the advertisements to observe all manner of human truths and represents that trusting your financial security and future with ING – things truly are easier.
Since ING started advertising in the U.S. in 2001, the ING bench has been a staple in their campaigns. The company icon however, has yet to be tapped to its full potential. This "safe vantage point" can easily be translated into the world of sports.
Imagine a commercial in which an amateur baseball/softball pitcher can do nothing right. He walks batter after batter, gives up hit after hit, and may even hit a batter or two. As we watch, the voice of ING tells us that sometimes, no matter how hard we try, some things just don't go our way. Then as our protagonist is pulled from the game and takes a seat in the dugout, the voice tells us that "sometimes, life is easier on the bench"; the dugout bench, of course, having the ING lion logo on it.
Using the ING bench as a sports bench could also be used in sports such as basketball or hockey, again preferably on the pick-up/amateur level. Making sure to emphasize amateur sports would better identify with the "common person" and emphasize the sport as a hobby, not their career. Also possible is the inference that ING is a professional financial group, and if the common person can struggle hitting a ball, or making a basket, imagine how worse-off they might be with their financial future.
Personally, I'd like to think whereas the cat in a tree ad asked, “what’s easier, getting a cat unstuck from a tree or planning your financial future?”, these sports-based ING ads could ask "what's easier, being the next (Nolan Ryan, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretsky) or planning your financial future?". The answer to both being planning your financial future, as long as you do it with ING.
Now I am far from an advertising guru, but I think this idea has potential. Agree? Disagree?
(Disclaimer: I don't work for ING, nor do I know anyone employed by them. I just think this is a cool idea. And ING, if you read this and use my idea, a little slice of the profits would be nice. - Jordi)