Music Dealers

Citibank Should Take Their Nickels Back
December 4, 2008, 5:12 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Have you seen the latest TV spot from one of the largest financial institutions in the world?

I realize the current economic climate has let to tough times for big corporations. But is Citbank really in this much of dire straits that they were forced to use as the central component of a mass multi-media campaign…..Nickelback?

I mean, Nickelback? Seriously? Were Creed and 3 Doors Down busy?

And in what universe is Nickelback playing to a sold-out crowd that large where two unfortunate Nickelback fans can’t even find an open seat? Are they opening for the Stones?

Putting the flimsy concept of the TV spot and inane online contest aside (contest entrants are prompted to complete Nickelback song lyrics…and are then “rewarded” by getting to hear a complete Nickelback song…and get entered for a chance to go to three Nickelback shows) – how could a company as big as Citibank actually land on a band as generic, undescript, dated, and hated as Nickelback for the centerpiece of a mass campaign?

Sure, sure – Nickelback has moved some records and charted some singles in the past. But they represent the absolute bottom of creativity and credibility in music today, and are loathed by the vast majority of music fans. Is this really the type of “artist” you want representing your company? Is it worth appealing to the Nickelback fanbase at the expense of alienating everyone else? Out of the hundreds of edgier, hipper, or even safer bands out there, this is what you choose? Even an unknown act would at least add an element of intrigue and coolness. Or a well-known higher-quality band would at least bring some credibility and a solid built-in fan base. And even a complete cheese-ball, has-been band like Candelbox or Warrant would at least inject some ironic humor and tongue-in-cheek value into the campaign. But Nickelback???


I’ll give Citibank some cred for using Mary J. Blige as the other artist of this campaign. Some. But it’s unfathomable that they’ve used Nickelback as the “rock” or “white” or “cool” or “youth” or whatever-they-were-going-for component of the campaign. If brands are supposed to be seen as aspirational and modern to their consumers – and successful brand/music partnerships are all about the fit between the brand and the music – then what does it say that Citi has chosen a band like Nickelback to represent it? Do you really want to entrust your financial matters with a brand like this?

But, what do I know. Maybe Citi discovered a large enough white space out there for clueless, tasteless, uninspired machismo males who are in the market for a new credit card and who have trouble getting primo seats for a Nickelback show, that it doesn’t mind turning off the rest of the population….and the joke’s on me.


3 Comments so far
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[…] ways that make sense for their brand identity and marketing strategy.  Maybe they could give Citibank or Sears some pointers. No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this […]

Pingback by Groove Armada and Bacardi Continue Partnership « Music Dealers

This is hilarious. Good writing! I thought the same thing when I saw these ads…WHY Nickelback?!? Thanks for writing this, at least I know there’s one other person out there who has retained their musical taste and sanity.

Comment by Marshall Price

[…] No word on why other favorite partnerships as ours such as Nickelback/Citibank (discussed here) and L.L. Cool J/Sears (discussed here) weren’t on the list. They were probably just too […]

Pingback by And the award for “Music and Brand Partnership of the Year” goes to… « Music Dealers

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