Barclays “Uncertainty”

The financial world is still fraught with danger and uncertainty, argues this new Barclays commercial from Venables Bell & Partners, so why not go with a financial institution that has 300 years of experience. OK, the spot, directed by Daniel Kleinman, doesn’t actually talk about what’s been so great about Barclays past, but instead tries to tap into consumer anxiety over today’s uncertain economic conditions with images of business-suit types falling into all sorts of comically perilous situations. “Wall Street is getting back on its feet,” says the voiceover, as we watch a collection of businessmen and -women lose their footing due to the lingering “uncertainty.” One man gets stuck in a sidewalk’s wet cement, while another falls into an open elevator shaft. The most memorable visual, however, is a fun-house moment when a staircase turns into a slide, sending everyone tumbling down, some on their asses, others head first. Hate to see what they looked like at the end of that fall. “In times like these, you need an experienced partner to look after you,” continues the ad, as a Barclays executive saves an approaching customer from a falling masonry gargoyle. “After 300 years, we’ve gotten pretty good at that.”--Eleftheria Parpis