Tuesday, December 14, 2004


Wainwright Bank is doing its best to put the funk in FDIC. Its corporate identity screams “rainbow coalition” with colors that can’t be found on any rainbow, projecting a gay-friendly, socially conscious image that goes so far as to ensure people know its 10 branches “are friendly places to visit.”

It’s sweet, and a little desperate.

The bank’s public transportation advertising, for instance, features a swirl of colored bubbles, each with a liberal selling point in pleasantly hippie-ish rounded typeface. One says Wainwright is one of the top 10 “green” banks.

Another says Wainwright is one of the top 11 lenders to women.

One of the top 11?

Um, it wouldn’t actually be No. 11, would it? Meaning one short of the top 10?


Indri said...

For some reason, I always feel a little weird when a bank tries to be too friendly. I don't know why. But someone was just telling me that their bank had completely remodeled...gone the long row of windows, the security glass. In their place, podiums (podia?) dotted around the floor, each with a teller and a slot. The teller has no money, but writes up your transaction, and then puts the note or check or whatever in the slot. Then you get a ticket which you take to a central booth (which does have bullet glass, I imagine) where you get your money.

I'm just not ready for the modern age, I guess. Because this seems really strange and inefficient to me.

Scape7 said...

Something that bizarre is worth a look. For one thing, it confirms the tale; for another, it makes it your own, since as it is not, it just sounds like an urban legend.

Because that is the most inefficient redesign of which I've ever heard, meaning it either has some benefit that is so far difficult to imagine; or the bank is in the grips of a chief executive falling into the grips of dementia a la Howard Hughes.

Find out! Life's too short not to know!

Indri said...

The problem is that I don't even remember who I was talking to, let alone which bank. I think it was a guy, but that's as far as I can narrow it down. I'll try to remember, and then I'll go see for myself; be your spy here.

Scape7 said...

Maybe look for bank advertising that's as goofy as Wainwright's? Surely a bank that's done something so uniquely odd would have to advertise it, if only to test the theory that anything really bad should be blown up to such an extent that it looks intentional.

It's an old newspaper law: If you have a terrible photo, run it really big. Then it looks artistic.

Smeg said...

Clicked through from Boston Common ...

I have an account with Wainwright, and they are actually pretty sucky. I opened an account in the JP branch ... took me 8 weeks to get a card. Everytime I move house (twice since) I have to fax them the new details, they don't have the ability to do it on the phone or online ... I always sit there, hoping the fax made it!

Scape7 said...

I'm sorry to hear of your experiences with them. Eight weeks is outrageous.

And I'm surprised, too, as Wainwright is supposed to the one of the top 10,632 banks in terms of customer service and one of the top 12,078 in terms of efficient technology.