We saw some marketers highlighting their bailout-free credentials in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. government’s bailouts, like under-the-radar firm Sun Life Financial. This still seems to be a selling point today. Financial services firm Ameriprise is underscoring its long heritage and the fact that it’s never taken a bailout in two commercials featuring Tommy Lee Jones and directed by Errol Morris (the one below, and this one). Ameriprise highlights its ongoing self-reliance and financial solvency, reassuring viewers that it will be there when you need it.
Ford spotlighted the fact that it wasn’t among the automakers getting bailout funds in one commercial in its ongoing campaign featuring real customers speaking in a press conference-style setup. A Ford owner explains he chose the brand because “I wasn’t going to buy any other car that was bailed out by our government. I was going to buy from a manufacturer that’s standing on their own.” There was some minor political flap over the ad, which is no longer airing, pointing to how heated a topic the bailout remains.
With the ongoing Occupy protests and the ever-worsening European debt crisis, anxiety about fiscal responsibility and stability remains high. Watch for more American brands to assure consumers they are stable, dependable companies and responsible corporate citizens—and, in that respect, closely aligned with traditional American values.