online marketing psychology

June 30, 2010

Bank mergers in Brazil: Santander and Itaú Unibanco

The most valuable brands of Brazil are banks. So why haven't I written about them before in my Brands of Brazil series?

They are not the most exciting brands. But I admit that after reading and thinking a bit for this article, I like them more.

There has been a lot of buying and selling in the Brazilian banking industry these last years:
  • Santander bought Banco Real
  • Itaú merged with Unibanco
  • Banco do Brasil bought Nossa Caixa
After all these takeovers, the slow process of integration of all the different business units could begin. And it seems that these last months, the time has come to take care of the brands(pt). Figuring out what direction the new company is heading, the positioning and  what brand matches this position.

Brazil Foods is going through a similar process after the merger. Although there are less brands involved here, usually just one corporate brand, the outcome of bad decisions is a lot worse.

Let's look at two commercials from these newly formed banks.


The main message is that doing things together is always better than doing things by or for yourself. The implicit meaning probably being that the two banks together are better than the two seperate. The Banco Real brand doesn't appear anymore and there is no explicit presentation of the improved brand.

Itaú Unibanco

This ad show that the bank can help its clients to realize their dreams. The visuals of the commercial however have little to do with the clients. It are all employees of the two banks singing Imagine by John Lennon. The focus on the merger of the two banks is more explicit. Both brand names are used and the viewer is even instructed on the new brand: "I am Itaú Unibanco, but you can just call me Itaú".

While Santander is already looking to the future and focus on its clients. Itaú feels the need to step back and explain the merger to the people.

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