Your Arch Nemesis? The Banks.

Via the <a href="http://www.facebook.com/album.php?profile=1&id=84763399274#!/LendingTree">LendingTree Facebook page</a>.


According to a new ad campaign from LendingTree, there is a villain among us—the very banks and credit agencies it works with. But, there is someone to restore justice: You.

The video below is part of a larger “You to the Rescue” campaign highlighting the “LendingTree utility belt,” which provides “objective tools to assess your loans and personal budget.”

The ad features two men in dress shirts and ties getting ready for work. Their reflections portray them as latex-clad, masked superheroes who will take on the “corporate mischief makers” and “men of ill repute who created a downturn of diabolical proportions.”

A third ad features Adam West, television’s original caped crusader, in an Alfred/Q role (he also does the voice overs for the other two). As those familiar with the superhero genre will note, Batman is one of the few superheroes who fight crime without the help of superpowers. Instead, Batman relies on technology (in the form of a utility belt) and a regular workout routine—oh, and a small inherited fortune.

Don’t forget that Batman is the alter ego of Bruce Wayne, a business tycoon. LendingTree didn’t; these ads aren’t directed at your regular Joe. They’re aimed at angry middle-class men (there are no women financial superheroes pictured) willing to educate themselves on the ins and outs of mortgage and credit.

As David Corn pointed out in our January/February issue, the campaign is targeting the somewhat misplaced fear and anger of the American populace. We are angry at people who took out more credit than they could afford, angry at the banks who pushed them into it, and angry at ourselves for not being smarter and more aware of what was going on. And the policies that allowed Wall Street the free reign to create this mess in the first place? Have we gotten smarter about those yet?

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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