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Originally established for times when I needed more than 140 characters to finish a thought on marketing or media.

Ally Bank’s acceptance speech

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ED’S NOTE: This post reflects my interest in advertising as a marketing student. No agencies or products are endorsed. The opinions expressed here are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers.

While suffering through a recording of the season premiere of CSI today, I noticed this commercial for Ally Bank, “Stop Accepting Nonsense.” As someone who just endured 16 weeks of seemingly endless discussion of electronic fund transfers, ACH, credit cards, debit cards, smart cards and all the associated fees, I couldn’t ignore a commercial that is trying to make light of such, well, nonsense.


It’s a bank. What do you want? A hug?

Although humorous, the spot’s soundtrack and script (“JUST ACCEPT IT!”) do a great a job of making the viewer feel pressured and frustrated. Even so, it doesn’t tell us why Ally Bank is our ally. We have to go to Allybank.com to find out.

From the website’s FAQs:

You won’t see an Ally branch or ATM, but you can use your Ally debit card at any ATM worldwide. Plus, if you use any ATM in the U.S., we’ll automatically reimburse ATM fees charged by other banks at the end of your monthly statement period.

Ah, now we get it! Ally Bank is a direct bank, which means it operates without a branch network. All transactions are conducted online, by phone or by ATM, the idea being to save operating costs and pass those savings on to customers. The business model is not without its drawbacks, however. Some customers want a face-to-face interaction, and disputing a transaction with a customer service rep (CSR) over the phone can prove frustrating, as comments on Ally Bank’s Facebook page show.
From the comments:

The CSR are friendly and kind but if you want anyone with knowledge, good luck! I have documents to prove that it has taken me over 5 hours on the phone and as of this moment, I am still on hold while the CSR contacts the wire department. … You’re better off to go to a local branch in your town where you can walk in and get results!


Just called customer service and was told they are having computer problems again and many customers cannot access their accounts online. … How does a company as large as you seem to be have such poor infrastructure in your IT systems?

Oh, technology, how we love thee. You always make life so much easier.

At the time of this writing, this YouTube video had 100,899 views, 41 likes and 11 dislikes. On Facebook, the Ally Bank page has 14,485 likes, and this commercial, which was posted Monday on the FB page, has 11 comments.

About the Ally Bank YouTube Channel
(As of Sept. 22, 2011)

  • Channel Views: 110,777
  • Total Upload Views: 2,261,411
  • Joined: Oct. 6, 2005
  • Subscribers: 950

AGENCY:  Grey New York, the folks who brought us the eTrade babies.

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Author: Jacqui Barrineau

Jacqui Barrineau is a writer and editor who lives in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., with husband Trey, a Shetland Sheepdog and two unhelpful-but-funny cats. Her work has appeared in "So to Speak" and "Calliope," and she's a regular contributor to the flash-fiction sites Paragraph Planet and Doorknobs & Bodypaint. Once upon a time, she was the audience engagement editor at USA Today. Now she does other fun things that involve advertising, marketing and social media. The views expressed here and in other outlets are hers, not her clients'. Outside of work, she's proud to serve on the Northern Virginia Community College Marketing Advisory Committee. As a committee member, she joins industry leaders in lending their knowledge and expertise to ensure the college's Marketing curriculum is relevant and responsive to the needs of the students and the surrounding business communities.

One thought on “Ally Bank’s acceptance speech

  1. I’ve been an Ally customer for approximately 4 months.

    During that period, my place of employment has attempted to direct deposit my paychecks into Ally, but the deposits were rejected. I then tried to e-check deposit my paychecks….which Ally held for 12 days EACH time before depositing. In the mean time, I had checked and double checked and triple checked that the account information that was being used was correct. Each time I called Ally I was subjected to yammerings about account numbers that I’ve confirmed and hold times I find excessive, given the fact that it’s a salary check for the same amount every two weeks. But, I figured it would all be fine when the direct deposit issue was fixed.

    After five attempts, my accounting department said “Good news, your deposit has been accepted!” and I was so happy. But on deposit day, my money wasn’t in my account. My pay stub said “This is not a check” and Ally said “We don’t know where your money is…but it may take us 24 to 48 (business) hours to research it” On a Friday that means I won’t hear from Ally until Tuesday, and if they DO find it, I’m sure they’ll come up with a reason to hold it for another 12 days.

    The worst part…while speaking with a customer service supervisor (almost as useless as a customer service representative, but with a more authoritative sounding title) she indicated that there was no way to further expedite my resolution, as it was a newly opened issue. WTF? I’ve been calling over and over for months about the same issue. Maybe it’s a bit different than the last eight calls, but it still boils down to the same. little. nugget. My direct deposit isn’t being deposited and Ally won’t give me my money.

    The fee-less accounts, the interest, the convenience, the friendly customer service, the e-check deposit…it all sounds fantastic, but BEWARE. You’ll continuously call with the same issues. You’ll wait weeks for access to your own money and there is no direct line to the resolution center…leaving you at the mercy of friendly, but relatively helpless customer service reps (and supervisors).

    I’ll be posting this review on every available site for each waking hour that my funds remain missing in some Ally limbo. At the earliest availability I’ll be removing my money and marching it straight toward the teller of a better bank…if there is such a thing.

    Wish me luck.