Now and then, you come across something that moves you.
A friend recently sent me a subtitled ad for the Argentine-based Banco Provincia that epitomized a kind of emotional/intellectual /empathetic trifecta. It has been around a couple of years, it seems, but is worth viewing.
The camera opens on a small village street. A horse-drawn cart moves past, as a small sedan pulls up. A short, mustached man in a cap gets out. He walks over to a tall, well-dressed, middle-aged woman who is in front of her shop talking to a young customer.
“It’s more natural…” the woman is saying, when she notices the man, and they have this exchange.
“Mr. López! How strange to see you around here.”
“I’d like to know….When the bank credit was granted to you to open the hairdresser, did they ask for your identity card?”
“But the document shows that you are a man.”
“And, did they grant it anyway?”
“This is the same bank that has granted me a credit to buy the car.”
(Cut to new car: Wife—or lady companion—inside smiles.)
“That made me think. And so, it encouraged me to come and apologize to you for treating you badly all this time. For not knowing how to treat you. Take this. Have this.”
(He offers her a little ballerina statue. She accepts it.)
“Thank you, Mr. López!”
He walks back to car. Wife and woman smile, wave to one another.
Voiceover: “Your life changes when there is a bank disposed to change. You have a life. You have a bank. Banco Provincia.”
What a wealth of information in 1:17 minutes: the intimacy of village life, where everyone would know about “her”; the age of the two actors; the believability that a bank loan, not a moral epiphany, opened Mr. López’s eyes; the tendering of his apology in front of his wife and the customer; the woman’s gracious acceptance of the gift. All speak volumes about the human capacity for change.
But the ad raises other questions: How does advertising in the United States treat or even acknowledge GLBT consumers? How many banks here, even through self-interest, would choose a transgender individual to represent them? How do our banks, car dealers, real estate agents, merchants, etc. see GLBT custom generally? (You. Me.)
One subtext may be to scrutinize where your dwindling dollars go, and to whom.
As for the small drama? See for yourself. Think about it.