Looks like Egg’s had its chips

Sorry, actually I really hate headlines like that with mandatory puns in them.  (If you Google “British Airways” and “turbulence,” you’ll get about 11,000 results, of which 10,999 are from newspapers’ business pages reporting falls in profits or problems with the pension fund.)

Anyway, after Citibank bought Egg from Prudential, we watched and waited – more perhaps in hope than expectation – to see what they’d do with the brand.  And now we know:  they’ve decided to emasculate it.

The new Egg Card commercial is one of those glum pieces of faux creativity from exactly the same stable as MBNA and Capital One’s ghastly What’s in your wallet?  If you haven’t seen it, a dophin jumps through a supered figure 0 to highlight Egg 0% balance transfer promotion (3% handling fee applies).

It’s difficult to say quite what’s wrong with it, but I guess the two obvious points are a) it’s such a feeble and sanitised remake of the wonderful Outpost.com commercials where the Richard Widmark-like CEO has gerbils fired from a cannon through the “O” of Outpost to help us remember their name, and b) although not hugely surprising, it’s still depressing to see an Egg commercial with every milligram of irreverence and originality and silliness hoovered up and replaced by hard-faced financial calculation (3% handling fee applies).

Of course I know that in bleating on about this I’m just being a sad old hippy.  For ten years or more Egg was attitude-rich, profit-poor.  I expect Citibank Egg will make more money out of their dolphin and 3% handling fee than Prudential Egg ever made out of Zoe Ball, Talk To The Glove, What’s In It For Me and Tested On Guinea Pigs. 

Oh well.  Looks like First Direct will be carrying the financial services corporate-maverick flag all by itself from now on.

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