How do you keep humor in financial advertising from making your company seem goofy or disrespectful? Answer: You make the humor relatable. TD Bank’s “Unexpectedly Human” campaign nailed this strategy, most notably in the :30 TV spot titled “Password.”
Created by TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York, the 2019 spot spoofs the all-too-familiar struggle of trying to remember passwords for different websites. A woman sitting at the dining room table with her laptop computer shouts queries to her husband: “What’s the password for the cable bill? What about the phone bill?” The husband’s increasingly vague and hilarious answers remind us of our own password predicaments, for which TD Bank offers a handy solution: Their mobile app’s bill-pay feature.
Why we love it
COPY: First of all, the husband’s password answers are a hoot. He’s really gotten creative—and yet he still can’t remember them all. We’ve all been there. And there are some subtler details of this spot that amp up this relatability factor.
For instance, the woman is paying the bills at the dining room table, not a designated home office (which many people don’t have, or didn’t have in 2019 before the pandemic made remote work more common). The husband is busy shlepping laundry up and down the stairs while he shouts back his answers. And even though he can’t remember all his weird passwords, he doesn’t come off as scattered or stupid. He’s just busy with life, like the rest of us.
Another thing we love about this spot: We never see a bank, a cheery smiling teller, or a loan officer. This spot is all about us, the customers. We see ourselves in this ad, and guess what? We’re hilarious.
You can see two more spots in the TD Bank “Unexpectedly Human” Campaign:
This is post #2 in our blog series, Funny Money: Using Humor in Financial Advertising.