Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Citi never sleeps (we pile on)

It's unfair to make fun of someone's slogan... a cheap shot. A company tries to be friendly and distinctive... Its marketing people brainstorm themselves into a frenzy trying to come up with a new tagline. Uh... how about... "Your dreams, our reality"???.... no, no it should be, "We dream to realize your reality"... no, no, I've got it....

And so it goes, until a smug head of a business unit saunters by and suggests that the company use its OLD slogan – "My kids loved it. Let's use it again!"

Is that how they brought back the line "Citi never sleeps"? Well, today, Citigroup is standing before the world pleading for help, having stayed doggedly awake while losing tens of billions of dollars. Is it fair for the Wall Street Journal to take a shot at 'em? You betcha...

From today's editorial: "'Citi never sleeps,' says the bank's advertising slogan. But its directors apparently do."

Brand consultants warn clients: Whatever your brand promise and however you express it, be sure you're able to live up to your claim. I suppose it was not foolish for Citigroup to proclaim its commitment to be awake somewhere in the world at all times... and to be tireless in service of clients. But you know, it's better to shut down and go to bed for 12 hours than to stay awake in the groggy execution of bad decisions.

Okay. We piled on.



jeffrypilcher said...

As I noted in my write-up about this slogan earlier this year, losing just one night's sleep can shut your brain off completely.

brandsinger said...

It's not a bad slogan, Jeffry. Just... well, ill-timed. I suppose no tagline could seem helpful when you are laying off 50,000 people.

Jarrett said...

I agree that the slogan is ill-timed also because Citibank will be shelling out 400 million over the next 20 years for naming rights to the new Shea Stadium (are they in any position to make this commitment?). A new Mets ballpark paired with the image of a brand thats struggling to stay afloat and recently needing a federal bailout. At least we know this doesn't please the likes of two taxpayers out of New York who sit on NYC town council and are looking for the park to be renamed to Citi/Taxpayer field as opposed to just CitiField.

brandsinger said...

Thanks for adding this point, Jarrett - the Citi brand is tainted in all its expressions.

"Citi/Taxpayer Field"! Ha! That is absolutely the right way to be thinking about this turn of events.

As argued earlier, ALL facilities such as Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport ought to be re-named to honor the citizens who paid for them.