Newspaper Ads — The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

by. Steve Topper

The first thing I do when I get a newspaper in my hands is to page through it looking for all the bank and credit union ads.

Yes, I’m a bit strange.

In fact, one of my biggest thrills is finding an out-of-area newspaper left behind at the local coffee shop.

I can’t help myself – it’s a requirement for a blogger about consumer banking.

And thanks to my blogging partner Joe Swatek, I get to see most of the ads appearing in the Lincoln Nebraska newspaper.

The other day, awash in a pile of such ads, I got to thinking about the variety of sizes, messages, offers, creative styles, and overall ad quality.  Branding ads are seen as a waste of money.

To me, looking at a pile of 25 different ads provides a bit of insight into what’s going on inside a less-than-random sample of an array of community banks, one mega-bank, and some credit unions.

To the casual newspaper reader, you’d think that mortgage loans are, once again, the hot banking product.  But the only way to know for sure is to trudge through all 25 ads and do some counting.

Here’s what I discovered is important to banks and credit unions in Lincoln NE and Sacramento CA during the past couple of months:

9 ads for consumer mortgage loans

3 ads for business loans

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