Dear barclaycard

Dear barclaycard,

Thank you for your “Rollercoaster” ad, the follow-up to the sublime “Waterslide” – I think that they’re so good I’ve tracked down links to the long versions:

Now that’s what I call a campaign! Thank you for showing us how it’s done:

  • Beautifully executed demonstrations of a new and tangible functional benefit (Contactless payment)
  • A simple but lovely metaphor – barclaycard helps you glide through life, enjoying yourself and connecting with people along the way
  • Escapism (rollercoaster and waterslide winding their way through a city scape) and Realism (everyday folk and the daily commute) rolled into one. Brands often debate whether they should hold up the mirror to reality (e.g. Malteser’s The Lighter Way to enjoy Chocolate) or whether they should “take you to another place” (e.g. Bounty’s A Taste of Paradise) but here you’ve managed to do both
  • Attention to every element of the executions – you’ve shown us that if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it properly – looks like that waterslide is pantone matched to barclaycard blue to me
  • Standout – so much financial services communication is dull as ditchwater – OK, Mastercard have been doing a great job (as I posted on here) but these ads just feel so different to everything else out there

Now for the downside:

  • The old adage goes that nothing kills a bad product like great advertising – well in this case I just don’t know whether Contactless payment is good or bad, as despite the claimed 10,000 locations, and a Platinum barclaycard burning a hole in my wallet, I’ve never had a chance to give it a go. So whilst the ads make me look out for the contactless logo, it seems that barclaycard need to do some work with their retail partners to square the circle
  • Personally, I think the element of flirtation in the Rollercoaster ad is completely unnecessary – why devalue something that’s so differentiated by reverting to an advertising cliche?
  • What’s next? There’s a wonderfully campaignable idea here, but the law of diminishing returns suggests that if the next installment is a geek-ish looking bloke zip-wiring his way through an urban location to and from his lunch-break, we might begin to lose interest

So thank you to barclaycard, BBH, and Dare Digital. It’s been a longer blog than initially intended, but that’s just testament to the campaign – so much to write!

Ned

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