Cap One Cleans Up Samuel L. Jackson Ad After Outrage on Bank Innovation, Elsewhere

  • JJ Hornblass
  • October 31, 2013
  • 2
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Photo: Antonio Gravante

Capital One Financial Corp. has cleaned up what some consider to be salty language in a recent TV advertisement in response to outrage from consumers, as well as many who commented on Bank Innovation.

Historically, each Bank Innovation post generates a handful of comments. But last week we posted the video of Capital One’s new advertisement featuring Samuel L. Jackson and it spurred more than a little fuss. Nearly 80 comments were submitted on the post. A majority of them were negative, calling the use of the word “damn” in “very poor taste.”

From today’s American Banker:

[T]he commercial sparked an outsized reaction from angry commenters at various websites, including AmericanBanker.com, BankInnovation.net, and credit card discussion forums. Some of those people threatened to close their accounts or stop using their cards. Now Capital One is replacing at least some airings of the profanity-laced ad with a more G-rated version, in which Jackson promises rewards “every single day.”

Bank spokeswoman Pam Girardo said the second version of the commercial was part of a planned series featuring Jackson and Capital One’s new Quicksilver credit card.

“The first ad was designed to draw attention to the new campaign,” Girardo said in an email. “Our next ads that began airing this week continue to showcase Jackson in a direct and humorous way by dramatizing the ease and superiority of Quicksilver.”

For the record, Bank Innovation reached out to Capital One about the ad and the controversy, but received no comment.

However, as one Bank Innovation reader commented on our site today, those who felt the ad was inappropriate feel vindicated:

THEY LISTENED TO ALL OF US… Capital One has replaced the word “damn” with “single”. Now the CO QuickSilver card commercial now includes the phrase “every purchase, everywhere, every SINGLE day” It was even changed for late night, I just saw the new improved version while watching Letterman on CBS at 12:15AM. Just goes to show that if we continue to speak out about these topics we can achieve results. I’m glad Capital One made this important enough to change it for all of us, and our children.

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JJ started the first iteration of Bank Innovation back in 2007, and has been working on it ever since. He also serves as President & Chief Executive Officer of Royal Media, Bank Innovation’s parent. He founded Royal in 1995 and oversees all aspects of the New York-based diversified media company. Prior to forming Royal, JJ was on the editorial staff of American Banker, the daily newspaper, and worked as an editor of a business magazine in Hong Kong. As a reporter and editor, he has won journalism awards from the National Press Foundation, Newsletter & Electronic Publishers Foundation, and the Reader’s Digest Foundation. He has a BS in Economics from Yeshiva University and a Master’s from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He was also a Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School of Banking. He lives in New York City with his wife, two daughters, and son. He counts among his accomplishments one New York City Marathon, two New York City Triathlons and the 2010 Father’s Day 5K, the first race he ever ran with his daughters. He can be reached at hornblass@gmail.com or 212-564-8972.

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2 thoughts on “Cap One Cleans Up Samuel L. Jackson Ad After Outrage on Bank Innovation, Elsewhere

  1. In my opinion, I don’t thing the clean up of the ad was due to ‘overwhelming ‘ responses from the public. I sincerely believe that the CapOne marketing dept was looking for ‘shock value’. They have such a high marketing budget and they are also competing with a remarkable amount of rewards cards… how else to promote Quicksilver…? ho hum or shocking? shock em, then tweet about it, cause uproar and a lot of media chatter… then succumb to the public ear… then have a second ad already ready to shoot out.. but the buzz is already created.
    Typical…

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