Citi To Drop Quirky 'Rewarding' Campaign Three Months Early

by , Dec 15, 2006, 5:00 AM
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Citi's new ads featuring that quirky duo may have moved to a No. 1 slot for memorability in a recent survey, but that won't save them from being shelved after just two months.

The "Very, very, very rewarding" campaign included seven TV commercials and multiple print treatments featuring two oddball characters named Roman and Victor. It kicked off in late October, and was originally scheduled to run through March. But a Citigroup spokesperson yesterday said that once the current flight of ads ends next week, they will be discontinued.

Beginning in the new year, Citi will instead run ads now being planned to promote its ThankYou Rewards Network, according to Citigroup spokesperson Mark Rodgers. The network enables Citi customers to accumulate points for a variety of different types of banking transactions, not just credit card use.

The current ads carry only a logo for the rewards program, while the primary message is that the Citi PremierPass credit card is easy to use--and points accumulate quickly, and are easily redeemed for "the everyday things you buy."

Some TV viewers in particular found the ads, directed by Jared Hess ("Napolean Dynamite," "Noche Libre") annoying. Whether viewers were annoyed or otherwise engaged, however, the spots were proving to be memorable.

In the most recent survey of "memorability" by IAG Research, Citi's "rewarding" ads hit the top spot for the month of November, according to the Top 10 Most-Recalled New TV Spots, as reported by Ad Age. (Other advertisers to make the list included EA Games, Dell, Victoria's Secret and Capital One.) For all of their memorability, however, the Citi ads did not register as "most liked" on a similar list measuring viewer recall of new ads for the period from Nov. 6 to Dec. 3.

Fallon, the Publicis-owned agency in Minneapolis that has served as Citi's agency of record since 2000, referred questions to the client, noting that it was in the midst of planning the rewards program for the first quarter. Fallon shares media planning and buying duties with WPP's Mediaedge:cia.

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