New Goldman Campaign Feels Smaller Than Life

Click on image to enlarge. ©Goldman, Sachs & Co., 2010. All rights reserved.The folks at Goldman Sachs have some work to do to restore public trust. So the investment banker has wheeled out an anachronistic “image campaign” to help polish its tarnished brand.

The campaign—“Progress is Everyone’s Business”—is so milquetoast that you could put a “put your community bank logo here” slug on the ads, and sell them as stock.

The aw-shucks approach is strategic, not accidental. What I hear Goldman trying to say (with a slight Midwestern twang): “Don’t think of us as slick Wall Street financiers. We’re just good, old-fashioned people helping hard-working companies and communities move forward.”

When will investment bankers—and their agencies—learn that the way to win back trust is through demonstrating real change, not with circa-1980 image campaigns?

Oh, I particularly like the “Steve” name patch on the builder’s work shirt. The image is so authentic, I can almost smell the wood shavings.