Sisyphus Had It Easy Compared to BBH New York

by , May 19, 2009, 3:38 PM
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AllyTalk about your uphill battles. Ailing auto financer GMAC has tapped BBH New York to introduce its new online banking unit, Ally, to a less-than-friendly consumer market.

GMAC Financial Services partnered with BBH on a fully integrated approach to the brand, from strategic development and positioning, to naming and brand identity, through to traditional and non-traditional advertising elements.

According to a BBH spokeswoman, "The strategy for both the Ally brand and the surrounding marketing was rooted in the perspective of three principles: Talking straight, doing what is right for the customer, and being obviously better than the competition."

The multimedia campaign, with the tagline "Straightforward," emphasizes the dangers of fine print, penalties, teaser rates, sneaky disclaimers and fees.

The national network television ads, meanwhile, attempt to humorously show the viewer that if kids recognize that it is not right to make an offer with ridiculous conditions, then the banks should know that as well.

The spots attempt to portray the fundamental difference between right and wrong and demonstrate that typical banking practices, when seen through the eyes of a kid, are dishonorable.

Earlier this month, GMAC Bank was rebranded as Ally Bank, which was seen as an effort to distance itself from its troubled parent, GMAC LLC. GMAC is jointly owned by automaker General Motors and an investor group led by private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP (which acquired Chrysler in 2007.)

Late last year, GMAC became a bank holding company, which enabled it to receive a $5 billion bailout loan from the federal government. Under terms of the government bailout, GM and Cerberus both agreed to reduce their stakes in GMAC.

GMAC was one of 10 financial firms recently ordered by the government to raise more capital.

Earlier this month, a bankruptcy judge ruled that GMAC Financial Services can become Chrysler's preferred lender, which results in a new source of customers.

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