Previous to this advertisment, Barclays were running a campaign wherein a bright young Executive was seen to be coming up with incredibly simple but effective ideas, much to the annoyance of his far flashier and vacuous contemporaries. Firstly, this makes me think that bright people working at Barclays are few and far between. Secondly I could never remember which bank the ads were for unless the missus reminded me, and she only remembers because she banks with the bastards.
In this new one the budget has obviously been pumped up. A brunette in a yellow bikini is sunbathing on golden sand. Her slightly geeky boyfriend – our simple-but-effective ideas man from the three preceding adverts – is beside her, looking out to see. She asks him to rub protective sun-screen into her back. He begins to do so as she drifts off then seems suddenly to have a Eureka moment. He wanders off towards the sea and starts recommending a financial package to his boss over his mobile. ‘Six point eight percent’ he’s saying. The little shit. He’s on holiday – what’s he doing calling his boss? Anyhow, he returns, smugly smiling to himself, and they continue lapping up the sun.
We cut to the end of the day and they’re packing away their stuff. ‘Beautiful, isn’t it?’ the brunette says as she looks at the sun setting, or something equally as bland, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is this: When she turns around, she is perfectly tanned on her shoulders apart from the fact that she has a massive pink area in the shape of ‘6.8%’! Yes! He was so distracted that he squeezed out the mathematics of his thought process onto her back, leaving her with an unsightly set of mathematical symbols where her skin hadn’t been browned by the sun! Fantastic comedy!
Or is it?
My other half made a salient point here.
‘What if he missed a big mole?’.
It’s true. If the area where he’d scrawled his equation was the only part of her skin that was protected, he’d seriously put his girlfriend at risk here. Perhaps, rather than this being a funny little ad about how dedicated to their work Barclays’ staff are, this is a comment on the human condition. In focusing so hard on his job – even whilst on holiday with his closest human ally don’t forget, this idiot had endangered his lover through his stupid obsession with impressing his boss, which would lead to promotion, which would lead ultimately to more money. The selfish shitbag. What it boils down to is this: staff at Barclays bank are prepared to allow their loved ones to die a slow and painful death, so long as they progress on the career ladder. The central character trait of a psychopath, no less.
There’s no way I’m banking with those selfish bastards now.