AdTurds Bad Adverts – Badverts

6Jul/1514

Lloyds Bank 250th Anniversary Advert

Aren't banks great? They give you money and all sorts - and all they ask is that they are able to make money from the cash that we bank with them. It's almost utterly altruistic on their part. God bless banks - and bank adverts.

As this advert, released in time to celebrate Lloyds' 250th anniversary, tells us, they're there through good times and bad - you know, the times when they mis-sell PPI, launder money and attract more complaints to the financial ombudsman man than any other bank. Good old Lloyds!

And the good old Lloyds bank horse - representing how the brand is, er, horselike. And, just like horses, they've been helping the British people over the last 250 years, whether they're moving stuff, jumping over stuff or stepping on landmines on a French battlefield. Just like banks, when you think about it.

In any case, the black horse is one of the more recognisable financial brands - much more than Barclays' eagle or Halifax's big H. So it kinda makes sense that they're bringing it back in this advert. Nothing like a spot of recognition of a well-known avatar, after all.

Except that's bollocks really. On a personal level I have never had any meaningful interaction with a black horse, nor Lloyds. Nor any bank. They're a necessary - if unloved - facet of the modern world, like insurance, comparison websites and the booze that helps to numb the pain of it all.

I view the prospect of going to bank for absolutely any reason to be an exercise in Computer-Says-No frustration, long queues and being vaguely patronised. Frankly, that's how everyone feels when they go into a bank - and people who work in banks tend to belong to one of the few remaining professions that seem to require a combination of curtness, uselessness and rank condescension.

I recently went to a bank to pay in two old 50 quid notes to be told - I kid you not - that I'd have to take them to the Bank of England on Threadneedle Street, in person. This turned out to be as incorrect as it was absurd, but it's par for the course in terms of how unhelpful banks tend to be.

What's more, that black horse really doesn't engender much good will. Banks are about as toxic as politicians these days in the public's affections - ranked somewhere between ketamine psychosis and James Corden - so the appearance of the Lloyds horse is some magnitudes behind the likes of Tony The Tiger and the Smash robots as far as eliciting positive emotions go.

The use of the black horse here is rather like scheduling a Heroes of Comedy season on UK Gold, featuring interviews with the late Les Dawson, Rik Mayall and Peter Cook - but interspersed with monologues from George Osborne announcing benefit cuts to disabled people. It either misunderstands how virtually everyone views banks and bankers - or it simply doesn't care. It's like ISIS selling the sort of merchandise you see in a National Trust shop - erasers, jams and tea-towels - Tesco sending you its mixtape or The Conservative Party making its own pornographic DVDs.

Banks have utterly lost the public's trust, through their own horrible behaviour. They have shafted us, cheated us, lied to us again and again - and the only conclusion we can come to, since they have done it again and again, is that they're utterly unrepentant. And they offer glossy adverts in return. It's like someone stealing your life savings, writing off your car and burning down your house, then commiserating with an offer to buy you a pint with your own cash.

No doubt someone somewhere has been pointing to a Powerpoint display with the phrase 'recapturing trust' and 'restating values' next to a picture of a black horse, while Lloyds boffins nod and chew their expensive pens. And everyone involved in it - bosses, marketers, foot soldiers, consumers and regulators - know this dishonest advertising to be a massive lie on every level. It's a sticking plaster over a wound so ragged, festering and grievous - bailouts, bonuses, scandal, rigging; the things that have defined banks over the last decade - that it amounts to a colossal affront to everyone's intelligence. An appalling insult to terrible injury. The threat is barely implicit: let us do what we want, bail us out, leave us alone. If we go down we're taking you with us.

If you want a metaphor involving a horse to demonstrate the balance of power between the banks and us, don't think of a billowing, rippling steed running through Kent. Imagine waking up to a severed equine head under your duvet.

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  • Ann Kinahan

    Whatever you think of Lloyds this is a brilliant advert. Almost no-one on telly or cinema has been able to capture what horses are really like – but this piece does. They are not sentimental animals but once they trust you they will give their all. I love it.

    • hardjackson

      That doesn’t mean it’s a good advert.

  • Raven

    Hate Lloyds bank…but love the ad …totally manipulated me to tears with the new born foal and the freedom and joy of the disabled lady galloping through the woods….

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  • Simon

    Well, I started my banking life with Lloyds. They kicked me when I was down. It then changed to LloydsTSB, and they kicked me too. Then they split, and I’m somehow now with TSB. Same acciunt as I started with. Quite how Lloyds have been there for me is baffling, since they up and left me. The shits.

  • Onmebike

    30 years banking with Lloyds and every week a glossy bit of paper through my letterbox saying they are here to help and would I like to borrow some money.

    Until I decide to borrow some money and they tell me fuck off because, apparently, I never borrowed money before, never had an overdraft, don’t use the credit card they so kindly sent me and therefore have no history of repayment of credit .

    Well I need the money to get a new telly as I put my fist through the old one’s screen after watching the pile of dung that passes for the Black Horses advert.

    Bastards.

  • Onmebike

    30 years banking with Lloyds and every week a glossy bit of paper through my letterbox saying they are here to help and would I like to borrow some money.

    Until I decide to borrow some money and they tell me fuck off because, apparently, I never borrowed money before, never had an overdraft, don’t use the credit card they so kindly sent me and therefore have no history of repayment of credit .

    Well I need the money to get a new telly as I put my fist through the old one’s screen after watching the pile of dung that passes for the Black Horses advert.

    Bastards.

  • Dave

    Like the Nationwide one it also has sod all to do with banking

  • Dave

    Like the Nationwide one it also has sod all to do with banking

  • K Cinquetti

    Words fail me with this ad or any bank Ad for that matter. All should be cleansed with fire the sheer bare faced audacity of these money grabbing institutions beggars belief.

  • K Cinquetti

    Words fail me with this ad or any bank Ad for that matter. All should be cleansed with fire the sheer bare faced audacity of these money grabbing institutions beggars belief.

  • Chris

    The fact the horse isn’t trying to sell me PPI is a missed opportunity on Lloyds part if you ask me

  • Chris

    The fact the horse isn’t trying to sell me PPI is a missed opportunity on Lloyds part if you ask me

  • Kenlin Bros

    Saw this steaming turd of an advert yesterday and said aloud “I hope Adturds will have torn this bollocks to pieces”.

    Thanks for not letting me down!

  • Kenlin Bros

    Saw this steaming turd of an advert yesterday and said aloud “I hope Adturds will have torn this bollocks to pieces”.

    Thanks for not letting me down!

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