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Swiss Private Bank Gets Cheeky with Their Ads

Updated: Jan 8

Here's a company that decided to break the bad habit of thinking "this is how we've always done things" when it came to their copywriting even if they're in a traditional sector.

Bergos Bank Ad

Who here regularly reads a newspaper or a magazine?

Sure, the internet has made everything more accessible but does the fact that any magazine is a few clicks away make it more appealing or just something you never get around to because it's so easy to get to and it ends up on the bottom of the To Do list?

My point is... There's something about making that small effort of taking a stroll to your nearest newspaper stand, buying your magazine and stopping for coffee and croissants on the way back, that makes it a treat rather than something to do.

(Oh and don't even get me started on the smell of a new magazine... That's something online publications will never give us.)

There is one particular online format I do enjoy though: newsletters. When you stumble across a good newsletter, they're the best. Short, informative and sometimes even entertaining, a well-written newsletter can be almost as satisfying as a good article in your favorite magazine.

Well, I'm exaggerating but it can get close.

Something I hadn't seen in a newsletter lately (or any place for that matter) is a good ad for... drum roll, please...

A bank!

Have you ever heard of the Swiss private bank, Bergos?

Yeah me neither... Until now.

Putting "Gold" in Gold Standard for Creative Copywriting in a Very Traditional Sector

Here I am, sipping my coffee, minding my business one morning when I came upon this ad in a newsletter I religiously read:

Bergos Swiss Private Bank

I know, who would have thought newsletter advertising could still surprise you... It had been ages since something caught my eye.

I had to know more!

What is Bergos and what funds are we talking about?!

Probably not mine but still... Color me intrigued.

Turns out Bergos is a Swiss private bank specializing in wealth management.

Now, read that last phrase again. What comes to mind?

Most probably not a playful brand given that its target audience is a select group of people that who wealth that needs managing.

Or is it? Let's park this idea for now...

A few days later I received another newsletter with another Bergos placement:

Bergos Swiss Private Bank

And then I saw this in a magazine:

Bergos Swiss Private Bank

So it wasn't just a one-time thing!

In an ocean of ads portraying private banks as entities with a history of over a hundred years that dates back to the Medici or their Swiss counterparts, Bergos decided to go in a different direction and, for the most part, it worked.

Their informal tone, the surprising pop culture references they use and their minimal approach to their ads (no, they don't bore you to death about their founders and how they're the best at what they do), make them stand out for all the good reasons.

Bold move since they risk alienating certain demographics.

And here's where we circle back to their target audience.

While at first I completely assumed their target audience is an older demographic, I now realize they might be addressing young(er) wealthy people who need a down-to-earth partner who understands their needs and not just a stuffy banker. (Sorry to all the stuffy bankers that are great at what they do).

Another option is that they are actually targeting an older demographic but they couldn't find another way of standing out than this.

Hope it's not the latter.

Bottom line, their copy gets the jobs done: it gets you to take action, which in this case means clicking the ad in a newsletter.

How do they do it? They surprise and intrigue you with a bold message that resonates and makes you want to know more.

After all, I might not have wealth that needs managing but I might be a sales rep living in Zurich looking for a job.

Good copywriting means an increase in brand awareness and that can only be good.

Choose your words wisely. Or play around with them and don't get stuck in "what's expected". Be the Bergos in your industry.

But that’s just me…thinking out loud.


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