“You Invest In Missed Bedtimes”

Written across a sweet picture of a sleeping child,  the headline reading “You invest in missed bedtimes …” is what a JP Morgan ad on tube trains in London is using to sell savings products. The ad suggests that if you want to make this ‘investment’ count, you should buy their products – JP Morgan’s savings products can make the missed bedtimes worth it.

Besides the obvious bad taste and overclaim, this ad raises some interesting questions about the advertisers view of their target market – wealthy professionals who work sufficiently long hours to miss their children’s bedtimes. For example:

  • Do these professionals choose not to see their children at the end of the day?
  • If they do make this choice, is it because they do not value relationships with their children, or because they do not consider seeing their children after work as being important to their relationship?
  • If they do not make this choice, who does make it?
  • Is it possible to have a successful career as a professional in London without ‘investing’ in missed bedtimes?

At a time where parliament is embarking on a process prompted by a growing sense that banks have lost their moral compass, this ad raises a number of cultural questions that are worthy of consideration. Either professionals are making a free choice not to see their children, or ‘the system’ is making that choice for them and making it a pre-condition if they are to progress their careers.

Whatever the answer, this advertisement is an emblem of where our society has lost its way. If values stage a comeback, future generations might look at this ad and reflect on how grotesque the things that we have come to value have become.

  1. 17th Jul 2012

    I doubt very much that we’ve reached the bottom of the barrel. Plenty more scraping around the corner if you’ll excuse the metaphor mixing.
    I wonder if the answer to the question lies less in what future generations might think and more in our internal response to such messages and how we change the way we process the information on an individual level.

    People are going to work hard and make sacrifices. Its in our nature. Some concern children. Others just simple sociopathy.

    I appreciate that we are still shocked when we hear how our forefathers blithely sent children ‘down pit’. Dickensian nastiness. Uncivilized by our standards.
    What about those French folks. 35 hour week mandated by law with more enforcement around that corner. I don’t expect anyone other than a few gullible voters are going to buy into this business.
    What about the Chinese? I imagine that they’ll tell you that its this sort of soft-hearted thinking that is leading us to our inevitable decline and servitude under the neo-sino capitalist carve up.
    America? This is where this stuff came from. JP Morgan would approve.
    Perhaps we could blame the master manipulators of WPP or whoever came up with the strapline. They certainly deserve punishment!
    In the end we only have ourselves to blame if we buy their savings. Boycott, activism, social mobilisation against the forces of evil. Surely this the only way. Bring on the revolution.

  2. 17th Jul 2012

    This is awful, and made worse because JPMorgan are promoting their ISAs which have a limit of £11250 a year investment. So being generous and saying they are so good that they retrun 1% higher than average a year, that’s £112.50 extra for missing your kids bedtime.

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