Saturday 22 June 2024

How not to attract female customers to your bank

In the current series of Mediterranean Bank commercials there is one showing a man walking around his house and talking about what he should do with some money he wants to invest.

At one point he refers to perhaps saving it for his daughter’s wedding (daughter is shown sitting on the sofa staring into space as three guys with colorful headgear jump up yelling “yeah!” – she is not impressed).

The father then says that Mediterranean Bank told him about an investment plan which shows him how to follow his own investments and even trade himself…and here comes the clincher. He strolls over to a young man on a laptop and says, “I showed it to my daughter’s boyfriend…so now I’m not the only one investing in her future”.

My head almost exploded.

Say WHAT now?  He showed it to his daughter’s BOYFRIEND?  So that HE could invest in HER future?

I’m sorry but did we suddenly go into the twilight zone and end up back in the 1950s?  If whoever approved this commercial did so thinking that it would appeal to the bank’s customer base, perhaps they need to take a stroll around Malta and take a look at today’s realities:

1. Women work (they do not sit on a sofa staring into space)

2. Women are educated (they have even been known to use laptops)

3. Women do not only bother their pretty little heads about their wedding (I would have clobbered those three idiots behind the sofa with the nearest lamp)

4. Women can actually understand investment plans (a loving father would have sat down with his daughter, not her boyfriend)

5. Most women are going into marriage earning as much as their fiancé (“invest in her future” implies she has no money or savings of her own)

6. Couples getting married take financial decisions together (ignoring your daughter while waltzing over to your potential son-in-law speaks volumes about their future married life – good luck with that).

7. Any woman getting married these days who does not have some form of financial independence is taking a huge risk (what happens if the marriage breaks down? Will Daddy still be so thrilled he spoke to the son-in-law and not his daughter about investing?)

8. Oh, and before I forget: where is the man’s wife in all this? Does she have a say in how the extra money HE has is being invested? (or is this just a way of perpetuating the kind of marriage model where the man controls all the money?)

9. And finally, se mai, you invest in your children’s future (women are not children who need to be taken care of. I almost expected the two men to pat the young woman indulgently on her head. There, there, go back to your soap operas dearie.)

Now, if the bank’s image of their typical customer base is embodied in condescending middle-aged men who speak of their daughters as if they were possessions who need to be “handed over” to another man who will take care of them for the rest of their lives, then they have made the perfect commercial.

But any woman seeing that commercial who has an ounce of dignity will be outraged at the message and the implications of that message.

I know I was.