ING Direct’s Adventures on The Road to Happiness


You may have seen, but probably don’t really remember, the new series of commercials from the banking company ING Direct called "Adventures on The Road to Happiness." Basically, a guy in an orange convertible drives around and keeps people from spending their money because they can be happier if their money is kept in a savings account instead earning a very handsome return. You can see two of them at these links: retail therapy and yoga. Here’s a still:


Forget the part about driving up the Pacific Coast Highway. It’s a beautiful drive, but it puts their commercials into the same visual category as this Chips Ahoy (another ocean reference in a product) commercial:

This cookie commercial is actually more memorable anyway with its combination of strange cookie morbidity and eighties music "Don’t You Want Me Baby" by Human League.

And forget more about how ING’s execs were told by business schools that every company needs a color that distinguishes them from other companies. We all have a choice of about seven main colors (eight if you include Tiffany’s blue), so there’s obviously plenty to go around to every company. Okay, granted, ING is one of the more successful at staking a claim to orange, but the addition of an orange convertible to their image isn’t really the most thoughtful bit of corporate enhancement ever done for a company.

What is really off about your ad is that you’re telling people that they don’t need to spend money to be happy. Your solution is for them to save their money so that they have more money. And what exactly do you expect them to do when they have more money? Not spend it into happiness again? Get a new agency or ask your overpowering execs to let the agency do their work. This ad is cliche groupthink at its finest.

So now the question is whether or not I should sign up and try this bank out to see if I really am happier after leaving my other bank. It appears that all of my Bank of America accounts are closed now without any problems so far.

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Posted on October 24, 2007
Filed Under Advertising, Business and Commerce, Commercials, Convertibles, Medium to Paradise | 1 Comment


One Response to “ING Direct’s Adventures on The Road to Happiness”

  1. Cookies for Santa : Rapidsea on December 15th, 2007 6:56 pm

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