It wasn’t easy for Citi to sink any lower than its current position. Between their horrible ‘citi never sleeps‘ slogan [brilliantly spoofed by DB], Vikram Pandit becoming an elfen laughing stock, Meredith Whitney constantly being on their ass ‘dominatrix style’, and more massive cutbacks, layoffs, and writedowns than one could feasibly calculate, you would think they had already lost what little self-respect they possessed. You were wrong. Dead wrong.
Behold Citi’s new gimmick — partnering with Nickelback.
That’s right, one of the worst ‘rock bands’ in the history of lame radio ‘rock bands’ is helping boost Citi’s cool image by becoming the face of their new cardmember rewards campaign. I don’t even really want to dignify the ‘campaign’ with a respectable write-up but it involves Citibank cardmembers getting ‘exclusive’ access to primo seats at concerts and some other backstage crap (Sadly, Mary J. Blige has also been dragged into this).
Yesterday while trying to enjoy a few hours of NFL games, I was forced into viewing the campaign’s new commercial featuring a horribly staged and officially boring (according to the LA Times) Nickelback concert that was filmed for exclusive use in the Citi ad. [UPDATE: Got the vid]
UPDATE: AdWeek has a higher quality version of this horrible spot.
But the horror doesn’t end there. Being the masochist I am, I actually visited the website for the campaign and instantly regretted doing so. "http://www.stories.citicards.com" might be in the running for ‘worst website on the internet’. You are prompted to help complete song lyrics from Nickelback’s overplayed and mundane music catalog. It’s actually kind of a challenge because they all sound the same [The proof - just in case you've never heard this side-by-side comparison of two of their songs]. After completing the lyrics, the user is forced to listen to the complete song and then barraged with sites begging you to ‘buy the MP3′.
So in conclusion, just wanted to report that no matter how much worse Citi’s stock falls on the Street, they may never recover from the derision caused by partnering with Nickelback years after even their last real fan thought they were cool. For shame.