BrandArena: IMC Experts React to Sterling Bank Controversial "Shooting For The Moon" Artwork

Friday 27 July 2018

IMC Experts React to Sterling Bank Controversial "Shooting For The Moon" Artwork

The controversial 'Shooting for the Moon' artwork by Sterling Bank has continued to stir conversation beyond social media despite the apology statement issued by the bank. The post which has since been pulled down by the bank as generated a buzz that draws the attention of Nigerians to the bank.
Lampe Omoyele, Managing Director, 141 Worldwide Limited
The post is considered a disruptive creative that has never been experienced in this digital marketing era in the banking sector.

Integrated Marketing Communications practitioners have continued to share mixed views on the artwork.

According to the Managing Director, 141 Worldwide Limited, Lampe Omoyele, the Sterling ad was creative, edgy and safe enough. "This is ostensibly a reaction to regulatory feedback ‘norm’ of not ‘demarketing’ competition", he said. "Banking industry communication needs to be more exciting. Kudos to Sterling bank for shaking things up. Objective achieved, I think."

Marketing Strategist, Obinna Ojekwe revealed that the artwork was led to a very robust argument among his colleagues on instant messanger, WhatsApp.  He stated that "There where two schools of thought: 1. It was too edgy and 'adventurous' for the banking industry 2. It is about time the banking industry begin to communicate to their customers as 'people'.  My stand is, I think Sterling Bank has capitalized on a paradigm shift in the way banks (should) communicate with their stakeholders (this has been growing very subtly in the industry). Their response was equally genius! Kudos to them."

"Truth be said I think the Sterling Bank team has delivered on the plan - suddenly the bank DISRUPTED the bank advertising landscape through social media (once again reinforcing to businesses the ever growing power of social media) forced themselves into the minds of the population and overnight was in the heart of conversations be it banking or social. (apologies or no apologies) What is now left is the ability of the team to deliver on the ‘stellar’ promise at every point of contact with the Customer otherwise we would be having a ‘Platinum bank de javu’ (who still remembers the promise of cars that will run on water?) Has truly been quite an interesting time....kudos to the Sterling Bank team that bit the bullet and put this piece of amazing work out there", Onwudiwe Uche, Marketing Manager of Guinness opined.

Uchenna Innocent, a Marketing & PR Consultant stated that the artwork was a "well thought-out and executed creative". He added that the "apology" highlights this further. We need brands that can shake things up, creatively."

Seye Olurotimi also believed Sterling Bank achieved their objective with the controversial ad.

To Aishat Anaekwe, Brand Manager at PZ Cussons, "Sterling renders the apology after they arrived at their destination (on the moon)"

Sarah Olabisi Fagoyinbo, Technical Service & Sales Executive, Olam Grains, stated that this is the "first time a bank ad is stirring the society like this. I honestly do not know what to make of it because I found the ad quite creative but on the other hand, seeing the brand logo of other banks made me feel uncomfortable. I feel they bit more than  they could chew.  Looking on the bright side,  the ad and the responses brought some excitement and attention."

However, Communications Expert, Tolulope Babajide believes the bank's apology was "as an act of cowardice".

Sterling on Tuesday apologized for its controversial artwork which trolled United Bank for Africa, First City Monument Bank, First Bank, Guarantee Trust Bank and Union Bank.

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