June 21, 2010

BNP Paragraphs

"BNP Paribas- The bank for a changing world.
BNP Paribas has been supporting tennis worldwide for nearly 40 years. We sponsor events such as The BNP Paribas Showdown in New York City, The BNP Paribas Open in California, The Davis Cup, and many others."
I've driven past this billboard for the two weeks and had to take a picture of it just to get to the end of the fucking text.  And now that I have, what a letdown. My first impression was that it was a some sort of BP parody protest billboard, or at the least, a random rambling diatribe against unfair wages for union tennis players. Either way, I was fairly certain it was coming from a non-profit company that has a lot to say but doesn't have money in the budget for corporate communications or marketing. But, no, this is the 11th largest company in the world according to Forbes Magazine. It's also the 1st largest block of TL;DR I've ever seen on the side of a highway in my life.

Call me an ignoramus, but I never heard of BNP Paribas until I looked it up on the internets today. That it's a bank certainly doesn't come across the billboard. Yeah, it says "Bank" up top (it's not that washed out in real life), but there are approximately 50 other words competing with it! And a giant tennis racket (or electric flyswatter)! A quick search online teaches me that an effective billboard only contains 4 or 5 words on a billboard... 8 at the most. This is 50 words--IN ALL CAPS--and I still don't understand their point. The BNP Parabis Showdown was back in March. The US Open is coming up soon, but they even don't sponsor that. WTF BNP?

The billboard is located eastbound on Rt. 280 in what I believe is technically Harrison, NJ. The speed limit there is 65 mph [update: it's actually 50] and traffic is very rarely backed up in this direction. Unless your car has broken down at this exact spot (which actually did happen to me here), there is probably no one on foot that will see this. Trains go by as well, but I'm not sure if they're close enough to bother reading the billboard either. Maybe being wordy is a European advertising thing, but here, it's a unattractive misfire. My other theory is that it the ad is designed for a magazine and they just got too lazy (or cocky) to be bothered a redesign for another format.

And now that I've risked FRAT in my own analysis, I'll wrap this up. Sure, you could say that maybe they accomplished something by getting me to pull out a camera and take a photo of their stupid billboard, then go to their website and blog about it to all my friends. Whatever dudes, nobody is even going to read this whole entry because it's got too much text! And I am physically incapable of spelling Paribas the same way twice! Watch--Parabis. Paribus. Palabras. Parabolas. SEE!



Harry Badface said...

I've still never heard of it and I read this whole blog, pretty much.

Anonymous said...

Rollie, you ignoramus. Clearly, their goal is to cause car accidents.

The Morrigan said...

Actually, BNP Paribas is pretty awesome if you're an American in Europe and have an account with Bank of America. You can use any of their ATMs to withdraw money, and not get charged any fees for the conversion (other than the conversion rate itself). As a once poor and starving bohemian traveler, I definitely appreciated their services.