There may be some things that could make checking your credit score a little less boring. There are definitely a lot of things that could make watching a commercial about checking your credit score a little less boring. Not many of these things are remotely plausible, but some of them can make for amusing advertising.
FreeCreditScore.com's latest campaign from The Martin Agency features commercial kings Rhett & Link acting out ridiculous twist endings—suggested by viewers as part of a contest—to ads that would otherwise offer prosaic demonstrations of new tools on the brand's website. You can you use FreeCreditScore's "sliders"—that is to say, interactive graphs—to see how different financial actions will affect your credit rating. You can also, according to one new spot, use the sliders to instantly encase every item in your home—including you and your annoying roommate—in bubble wrap, and then embark on a wild, slightly OCD popping spree. You can also use the sliders to transform your house into an llama rodeo, or a doomsaying picnic basket. Or a science-fiction starship captained by a cat.
Of course, you can't really do any of those things with FreeCreditReport's website—except the pretty dull part about seeing how your credit score will drop if you get a new credit card or tick up if your lender raises your limit. But watching Rhett & Link play around with the less soul-sucking functionality is not without some entertainment value. Divorced as the scenes may seem from the campaign's sales pitch, they're fairly consistent with the longtime absurdity of FreeCreditScore's marketing—all those years of cheesy jingles. To that end, this campaign's random endings build on the brand's Bret-Michaels-genies-into-your-living-room spot from late last year.
The "Make a Better Commercial Than We Did" idea is, depending on your mood, charmingly self-deprecating, antagonistic or some combination of the two. Gimmicky as it is, though, it's a welcome change of pace from the warm-and-fuzzy tack of so many crowdsourcing concepts—even if, in the end, it seems rigged to produce disappointment.
Agency: The Martin Agency, Richmond, Va.
Production Company: StudioNow