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.