[start rant]  So Citibank has a new series of ads up in the NYC subway.  My roommate snapped this particularly ridiculous one for me.  Have a look:

This ad is not only stupid, but insultingly stupid.

First, you know my feelings on gourmet cupcakes.  But let's leave those aside for the moment.

Second, Citibank asks "What's your locavore story?" — suggesting that eating a gourmet cupcake makes you a locavore.  Huh?  Please explain how eating a cupcake makes you a locavore.  I really doubt that the flour and sugar used to make that cupcake came from the area.  By Citibank's logic, that would mean that any food product that you buy  makes you a locavore, because you bought it in geographical proximity to your body.  It doesn't make any sense.

Third, in the small print on the lower right, it reads: "Eat local and bank local at our new flagship Citibank branch at 14th Street and Broadway."  Okay, so now Citibank will have you believe that Citibank is a local bank.  I'm as pro-free enterprise as they come (not that Citibank is a sterling example of free enterprise), but this is just over the top.

I suppose there is a sort of logic to the ad.  It's just as ridiculous to think that banking at Citibank is some sort of local action, as scarfing down over-priced gourmet cupcakes makes you a locavore.

[end rant]

14 Responses to “More gourmet cupcake idiocy courtesy of Citibank”

  1. Breuk says:

    LOL.  Well said. 

  2. Nessie says:

    I burst out laughing and shook my head when I saw the picture and read locavore. Then I got sad when I realized that most people will not burst out laughing at the ad and will probably think it’s great. Sigh.

  3. Anonymous says:

    As the Way of the Samurai Says, "It is bad when one things becomes two. "

    Citibank should just be a bank. A great, kick-ass bank.


    They should have the strength to look at unrelated trends like locovorism and say, "whatever, it has nothing to do with banking. Let’s just keep on being the best bank we can be."


    Instead, they say to themselves, "oh year locovorism fits into being a great bank. We can do that to." And they can’t, and they make themselves look ridiculous when they do it.

  4. Donna B says:

    This ad gave me the same reaction as I have  to seeing harried mothers who placate their children with cupcakes at grocery stores (and BTW, fill their carts with junk ).    The bank=cupcake=locavore notion is pure Madison Avenue, but the worst part of it is the idea of feeding non-nutritious piles of calories to a growing child whose parents should make better nutritional decisions.

  5. Liz says:

    I think this ad is crazy awesome.  Part of marketing is appealing to stupid people – it is actually a big part.  Most halfway bright people know Citi isn’t exactly the best bank out there so they would ignore this ad anyway.  And stupid people may well think that eating locally and applying the 100-mile rule does include a cupcake that was baked in Manhattan.  Those same people would likely believe that Citibank is a small, customer-oriented, locally-owned bank.


  6. Arielle says:

     This is particularly funny when you consider that Citibank is very common in the city where I live – Prague… in the Czech Repulic.

  7. Rudy says:

    sort of logic? The idea is to get you to consume, consume and maybe consume some more. The more you consume regardless of what it is or where it comes from will increase your chance of using thier product – credit.

  8. Fritzy says:

    The analogy is actually quite appropriate:  Citibank is to local, ethical banking what cupcakes are to lacavore cuisine. 


    Only in our current, Orwellian enviornment could people be expected to take this seriously–and many will, unfortunately.  When you have a product to sell, you’ll attempt to make yourself appear to be a part of any current trend to push more product.  Citibank isn’t selling cupcakes or lacavore cuisine–their using sugar and a trendy movement to get customers–damn the consequences on a young person’s health. 


    Responsible marketing from large corporations would be nice but it’s probably too much to expect.  Vote with your dollars–bank at a local credit union.  Yeah this add pisses me off–I’m cancelling my Citibank credit card.

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