Citibank’s Identity Theft Commercials

For the last couple of years, Citibank has been promoting its identity theft protection services through a series of TV commercials. The somewhat humorous spots have become quite popular and have even earned Citibank an Emmy award.

Thelma And Norma

Somehow, I’ve always found these commercials slightly annoying. I never knew why; there was just something about them that bothered me. Today I happened to catch the “Thelma and Norma” spot while watching the NBA Finals, and that’s when it hit me: The commercials have it all backwards!

You see, the premise of each commercial is that the person on-screen has had his or her identity stolen. That’s the reason why the characters speak in a voice that doesn’t match their appearance. But wait a minute… That’s not how identity theft works!

If someone steals my identity, they’ve effectively stolen my “voice,” right? In other words, identity theft allows a criminal to speak with the victim’s voice. But Citibank shows the exact opposite: The victims speak with the criminals’ voices, which makes no sense at all. I realize that these commercials are supposed to be funny, but you’d think they’d at least get the concept right.

Oh, well. Now that I know why the commercials always felt wrong to me, maybe I can begin to enjoy them for what they are.

4 Responses to “Citibank’s Identity Theft Commercials”

  1. Halcyon says:

    Good point … never really thought about it. I usually tune out when there are Ads on TV. The last TV Ad I really likes and went out of my way to wat was the McGiver TV spot for the superbowl. All the rest of the Ads nowdays are so lame and repetitive.

  2. Evan says:

    There you go again, taking everything so literal and technical! 🙂 In many ways, identity theft is taking one’s voice. But an identity is more than just a voice…especially in the online market place. Humor… sustained!

  3. Trevor says:

    Evan, there you go again, not understanding. Whether it’s only a voice or something else entirely, it’s still the criminal doing the taking, not the other way around. The victims play a passive role during an identity theft and don’t change their behavior (until they discover the theft, of course). Humor…overruled!

  4. Kim says:

    I love the commercials. I think they are about the funniest thing I have seen in a long time. I especially like the one with the two ladies talking about the motorcycles.

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