Doggone It, People Like Him

A successful, and occasionally controversial, radio ad campaign in California is coming to an end.
And that’s … OK.
For the past 18 months, Glendale Federal Bank has used Stuart Smalley (shown here), the self-help-obsessed character created by comedian Al Franken, to poke fun at “big banks” who fail to offer personalized service. The late comedian Phil Hartman chipped in as the announcer, advising listeners to switch to Glendale Federal.
But with Glendale Federal now merging with California Federal Bank, the campaign is coming to an end. In the final spot, airing throughout the state this month, Stuart finds out that his cable TV show has been canceled.
“This is pretty unusual. Typically when a merger happens, the ads just stop,” said Ray Kwong, president of WiseGuys, Pasadena, Calif., which created all 24 spots. “We didn’t want this to happen with the Smalley campaign. Listeners … want to know what happened to Stuart.”
–Angela Dawson