In this edition of Editor’s Eye, Peter Barton takes at look a how Credit Suisse has allowed six customers to take centre stage in its latest advertising campaign. Unfortunately, in his opinion few make the best use of this spotlight.


Credit Suisse, the global financial services firm, launched a customer-led advertising campaign in October. Images of six carefully-chosen customers appear in print and Out of Home advertising, as well as the company’s online homepage.

“Clients are our most important asset of course,”says Michael Buergin. “We came up with the idea of partnering with them in the advertising campaign.”Gerry Moira, chairman and director of creativity at Euro RSCG London, the agency responsible for the work, says: “Rather than talk about the kind of client service Credit Suisse provides, we wanted to celebrate our clients and their success.”On the upside, the six reflect the broad (yet discerning) range of Credit Suisse’s work. They include a fashion designer, an up market FMCG brand, a plucky environmental entrepreneur, heavy industry, online giant and tourism for the well-heeled. They mix Asia, Europe and the US. The images are strikingly different (unlike, say, the portrait theme of Mandarin Oriental’s ‘Fans’), but have a consistent Credit Suisse sign-off. The underlying message: our clients are varied; Credit Suisse service stays the same.

There are some missed opportunities, though, and for me, a couple of clumsy additions.

The Credit Suisse website invites visitors to click through to learn more about the advertising, and the Video and Image Gallery links appear promising. Unfortunately, the detail is mostly ad agency people swanning about the globe taking stock shots that could really be found in an image library. There is nothing on the role Credit Suisse played in the customers’ success, not even if you dig around, and far too much on the agency. We do not need to learn of the photographer’s motivation, or see another camera crew posing around in Monument Valley, Arizona.

The extras are weak: a couple of the ‘making of’ pieces have found their way to YouTube. Viewing figures of less than 1,000 in one month is not startling.

Bottom line
It is lovely that the six customers are doing well, but their success could be attributed to many things – and there is nothing to suggest they couldn’t have managed just as well with another financial services provider.

By all means put the customer in the spotlight, maybe just let the viewer know who put them on the stage. 

Peter Barton