The God of Small Things
I know it doesn’t really matter. I know it’s only a little thing. I know there’s much more important stuff going on (heck, the country is being battered by murderous winds as I type). You’ll be amazed that I can afford the seconds in my life to even think about this stuff.
But at the end of the new TV ad for the Nationwide building society, they say ‘visit us in-branch’. (I told you it was a little thing.) But ‘in-branch’? What? No-one says ‘in-branch’ in real life. ‘Did you pay that bill, love?’ ‘Yep, I went to Nationwide and did it in-branch.’ Don’t think so.
This is a phrase that only people who work in banking ever use. (Just like mobile phone companies talk about being ‘a Vodafone customer’. But us normal people say ‘I’m on Vodafone’ or ‘I’m with Vodafone’.) And of course, in the scheme of things it’s not the end of the world. But it is a sign that they’re not quite as connected to their customers as they claim (and that their ad agency have gone native).
Make enough of these wee slips, and you’ll always end up sounding a touch corporate, however magical the rest of your ad looks.