Department of Banking Metaphors

Is the message of this Barclay’s ad: “The banking industry is going down the tubes anyway, bringing all aspects of society with it, so you might as well have fun on the way down”?

(HT: Andrew Sullivan)

Dan Lufkin

If you watch it a few times you'll see that the hero picks up a banana or two on the way by and pays by conveniently swiping his Barclaycard on the fly.

An alternative reading is that he falls asleep at his desk (he's too lowly to have even a cubicle), dreams of walking naked through the office and then entering either a birth canal or a pylorus, to be born again or be excreted. (I've misplaced my copy of Freud, so I can't be sure.)


I think that would be over-reading it. It's a fun commercial emphasizing the benefits of swipping the new technology. EVERYTHING doesn't have to be fundamentally about the recession these days!

Jake (San Diego)

I saw that the first time through... And that looks SO FUN!


Hilarious. And of course he buys some more redundant stuff (which he doesn't even pick up) along the way!


I think my new preferred method of transportation is the water slide.

Tigger Wegwermer

Presumably, sometime after the US has realised that "chip and pin" is (yesterday's) next big thing. You will watch this and see, that is a fairly straightforward (boring) ad for a bank delivering a new service to its customers.

The idea that a bank (or its agency) might want to illustrate the condition of its industry is far funnier than the ad.


How does he get to work?

Tom G.

I take this ad (and the ridiculous VISA check card ads) to mean: Why pay cash when you can CHARGE it? See how much fun you'll have when you use plastic! Waiting in line is for losers! And hey - if you accidentally lose your card, it makes it that much easier for someone to rob you blind! No signature needed - not even a pin! Yaaaay!

In these economic times, do we really need to be told to charge more?


I am trying to convince everyone in my office that we should invest in a similar waterslide to get home....Its fun AND Green.


Louis Kestenbaum wrote a book on the corrupt Miami banks and this going down the tubes video goes hand in hand with the picture he paints. Hysterical!