In the News: Emotionally Abusive Social Media Site Continuously Manipulating Woman Into Staying.
Wait... is that real news? Or an Onion article? Sometimes it's legit hard to tell the difference. That's the brilliance of The Onion's editorial staff. Their knack for twisting of-the-moment news and events into satire is uncanny. No other news site (fake or otherwise) can match it.
And now, they're doing it for branded content. Under the umbrella of Onion Labs, a dedicated team of satirists, pop culture writers and award-winning advertising creatives is now creating Onion-eqsue content for brands. Particularly ones that want to get in front of millennials. Cue the #blessed hashtag. Here's an example:
What's going on here? Why was this video filmed vertically? Can you really meet other singles through a bank app?
If you have to ask, then you don't get it. And you might not be the right audience for the ad.
If you need an explanation, here it is, straight from Julie Scott, the general manager of Onion Labs: "BMO Harris recognized that the mobile banking landscape is crowded, so our goal was to make BMO Harris Smart Advantage Account stand out by speaking about mobile banking in a fun, humorous tone--helping to differentiate them from the more earnest approach taken by many others in their space."
Scott acknowledges that brands do ridiculous things in their attempts win over millennials. They think they've got millennials figured out. That's a ridiculous proposition because hey, guess what: There are 75.4 million of us and we're not all one homogeneous group. We don't all look, talk or think the same. But marketers forget this. Oftentimes the end result is misguided and out-of-touch advertising that results in outrage and embarrassment. Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad anyone?
"We wanted to hold up a mirror to the absurd lengths that banks and other marketers go to in their chase for the coveted 'millennial' consumer," Scott says.
The idea is that brands are now in on the joke. If brands could just stop taking themselves so seriously, they might have a better chance at winning over more of those millennial hearts and minds. This has been the BMO Harris approach to show people they're the brand that totes gets you, millennials.
And so, thanks to Onion Labs now there is a series of ridiculous videos highlighting features that millennials would be all over. One touts a MoneyRabbit feature. Have someone go get your cash for you! Another draws attention to the BankBNB feature -- stay overnight at a bank!
Ultimately, they hope you'll be intrigued enough to actually download the app and use it for your real banking needs.
So what do you think? Would you download the app if you were a BMO Harris customer?