Shortage of ideas?

June 21, 2007 at 10:37 am 4 comments

I am sorry if it seems that I have got it in for the banks (like Osama Hashmi has it in for the telcos (www.greenwhite.org). Everywhere you look, there is a bank offering a Personal Loan so you can take your family on a holiday for the summer – and of course shop to your heart’s content (as if the money never has to be paid back). Does this indicate that there is a shortage of ideas in the marketing departments of banks or the creative departments of the ad agencies that represent them? Come on guys there must be other ways to get people to borrow money? Other temptations you can offer?

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Should I be thrilled? Who has an answer to my question?

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Osama A.  |  June 21, 2007 at 1:46 pm

    Lol. Actually we have it in for banks too — Babar wrote a piece on misleading personal loan ads from MCB a few months ago.

    The motivation for our criticism is best summarized here:
    http://greenwhite.org/2007/05/02/why-criticize-a-free-lesson-in-consumer-centric-marketing/

    Reply
  • 2. minos  |  June 21, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    I don’t know if it’s a paucity (I like to use fancy words I plumb from the depths of the dictionary) of ideas or simply that it’s so easy to lure a populace high on knee-jerk consumerism.

    Now where did I put that buy-three-get-one-free voucher for plasma tv’s.

    Reply
  • 3. Vickram Crishna  |  June 22, 2007 at 5:42 pm

    It is simply a lot cheaper for the banks to market to people based on their weaknesses – the desire to keep up with the Junaids’, fed by hyped up advertising for consumer products and services. Selling to people’s strengths is a lot more difficult – business loans, soft loans for genuine emergencies (accidents, mainly, of all kinds) or for small farm resource support and community infrastructure.

    This is where a truly people-facing government plays a leading role, not in keeping people down, but in helping them to rise. Unfortunately that sort of work rarely makes the headlines.

    The central bank needs to encourage banking companies, not just by setting anti-inflationary CRR levels, but rapping banks on the knuckles when they move to wreck the best monetary policies through irresponsible flushing of the system with ostensibly cheap (read the fine print!) funds.

    If the Prime Minister’s hands are tied on this issue (and remember, he is a banker himself, and doubtless has as much heartburn when he sees the billboards) then we need to ask ourselves what kind of legislators are hanging on to power that can’t work together to build the nation. Elections do have a purpose, after all.

    Reply
  • 4. Jawwad, Desi Back to Desh  |  June 25, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    Where as growing technology companies that are actually creating value can’t get funding for secured transactions. I am not talking about venture capital here. Just plain simple asset backed lending for critical stuff like generators, air conditioners, cars, etc.

    There used to be a some focus on middle market (small and medium enterprises) but it never progressed beyond talk.

    Interestingly enough when we did an analytical exercise on banking products and their deployment, the consumer portion was just a meager single digit % of overall banking assets (read: loans and advances). The rest was all large corporates or commercial entities.

    Reply

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