Ever Feel Like Bankers Are the Robbers? If So, This Ad’s for You

Cutwater and Axos create the ultimate inside job

Axos mocks brick-and-mortar banks in its newest campaign. - Credit by Cutwater
Headshot of David Griner

While bank workers are often cheery faces and generally pleasant people to deal with, the actual process of banking—the fees, the restrictions, the minimum balances, the occasional rampant falsification of customer accounts—can often feel like you’re being fleeced.

So internet bank Axos and agency Cutwater decided to have some fun with that irritating duality by showing a bank robbery committed by the bankers themselves. In the brand’s “Don’t Get Robbed by Your Bank” campaign, we see customers getting shaken down by masked bankers, who promptly head right back to work and do it all over again.

There are two other spots in the campaign, showing more of the robbery and then, in the aftermath, one of the customers sitting down with a sketch artist.

“We appreciate the creativeness that Cutwater displayed in its development of a distinctive campaign to parody the current level of fees paid by customers of many retail banks,” said Greg Garrabrants, CEO of Axos Bank, in a statement about the campaign launch.

While Axos has been in business since 2000, Cutwater hopes the campaign will help introduce the online financial company to a much larger audience of potential customers.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to introduce Axos Bank to the world, ” said Chuck McBride, Cutwater’s founder and CCO. “From the onset of our relationship, Axos championed our ideas which ultimately made this campaign a joy to bring to life.”

It’s worth noting, of course, that this isn’t the first time we’ve seen this concept. In 2007, E*Trade’s Super Bowl ad from BBDO New York featured the same scenario, though the ad is often overshadowed by the E*Trade Baby campaign launched by new agency partner Grey New York the following year:

In addition to video spots, the new campaign also includes “wanted poster” ads featuring the bank employees:


Agency: Cutwater
Founder, Chief Creative Officer – Chuck McBride
President, Principal – Christian Hughes
Creative Director – Sean Flores
Copywriter – Andrew Singleton
Executive Producer – Michael Huntley
Media Director – Pip Bingemann
Digital Media Manager – Drew Prescott
Media Coordinator – Mackenzie Dowling
Account Supervisor – John Gilchrist
Strategist – Uma Mantravadi

@griner david.griner@adweek.com David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."
Publish date: March 7, 2019 https://dev.adweek.com/creativity/ever-feel-like-bankers-are-the-robbers-if-so-this-ads-for-you/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT