FirstBank “Date”

What do mobile alerts from a bank have to do with a psycho woman who, on a first date, tells the guy she’ll kidnap his pets when he breaks up with her? In this spot for FirstBank (via TDA of Boulder, Colo.), she’s used to illustrate the bank’s provision of “mobile alerts” that’ll ensure you “Know about trouble before it happens.” Sounds like a useful service. And the commercial, with its first-date vignette, is quite attention-getting. Still, I probably won’t be the only viewer to come away feeling there’s quite a distance between Point A (mobile alerts from a bank) and Point B (Miss Psycho). It’s a matter of tone. Mobile alerts from a bank are a purely utilitarian phenomenon — a service worth having, but not intrinsically interesting. A fetching-but-demented woman chattering at her increasingly worried-looking dinner companion is something with a whole different emotional temperature. As such, the connection between the two seems too tenuous to make for a sales pitch that will get us interested in the bank’s services. It’s one of those cases in which the commercial is too interesting for the advertiser’s own good. –Mark Dolliver