TD Vows to Put ‘Humanity’ Back in Banking, Offers Free Pens

By Bob Marshall 

With direct banking companies like Ally flourishing, banks that actually employee legions of customer service reps are finding it increasingly hard to compete. So, with the help of Philadelphia-based agency Tierney, TD Bank is boldly asserting that, yes, personal banking done face-to-face is superior to online banking.

Also, they are here to bribe you with free pens. Pens, like lighters, are things people always feel guilty buying, because it’s 2013 for chrissakes. We live in America. Pens and lighters should be free. Will people actually change their bank based on who offers pens? No, but TD isn’t expecting that. With their new integrated campaign, TD is instead saying one thing: “We get you.”


There are six of these new spots, each dealing with a minor inconvenience one might encounter during a routine banking experience. It’s a pleasant enough campaign that appeals to the everyman, but from my personal experience, I offer two insights. The first is that young people, especially those in their 20s, don’t care about customer service. In Chicago, about 90 percent of the people I know all bank with Chase. Now, anyone will tell you that they despise banking with Chase, but continue to do so because of the ubiquity of Chase ATMs all over the city and the ease with which its website functions.

I see these ads appealing more toward older people, those who yearn for the days when you knew your banker by name and you could damn well take as many pens as you wanted. But, does that older generation really change banks that frequently? I guess we’ll see as this campaign unfolds. View the Bank Human website here, and see credits after the jump.

Agency: Tierney, Philadelphia
ECD: Patrick Hardy
CDs: Teri Gerbec, Andrew Cahill

Prod. Co.: Epoch Films, New York
Dir.: Phil Morrison

Editorial: Spot Welders, New York