Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, June 14, 2021


If your faith in the country’s financial institutions is still a little shaky after last Fall’s meltdown, I’m not sure that something like Redneck Bank — basically a cross between high finance and “Hee Haw” — is going to restore it.

But this countrified online banking division of Oklahoma-based Bank of the Wichitas must be resonating with folks, because it’s beating out comparable offers by virtue of its funny branding alone:

Redneck Bank, and its sister sites AmericaNetBank.com and Evantagebank.com, are all owned by the Huckabay banking family. Redneck has quickly become the most popular of the three.

The name, and its rates, don’t hurt. Their mega-money-market offers 3.10% APY with no minimum balance. This is one of the top money market rates according to the BestCashCow rate tables. The bank (and its sister banks) are also offering a 5.25% APY rewards checking account, also amongst one of the best rates…

What’s interesting is that the Huckabay family launched three almost identical bank websites with identical rates and Redneck has done the best. It’s almost a perfect test for the power of a brand and a name to make or break a business.

Definitely a solid case study for breakthrough branding. Certainly a far cry from the banking industry’s stuffy past. And green money overshadows red necks anyway — California and New York are top residences among the bank’s new sign-ups, well outside the presumed cultural hearth represented by this theme (not that rednecks don’t exist in those two northerly states).

It’s all fun and games when “bankin’s funner”, until the mule accidentally eats your online account statements. Then it’s back to stashing your cash in your mattress, and collateralizing your Redneck Bank Visa card against next season’s crops.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 06/14/2009 04:57:22 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Business, Internet
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swipe-two-three
Relax, No. 6 straphangers: The Hollywood-hijacking depicted in The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 logistically could never happen on the real subway line.

“Good luck hijacking this train during rush hour,” said Mark Meyer, 61, who has been riding the notoriously crowded 6 train twice a day for the past 11 years. “I don’t know how all these gunmen are going to squeeze into the car,” he said. “They would have to empty some people out first.”

Heck, the bandits might not even make it onto the platform of the Pelham Bay Park station, said Bronx resident Angella Rojas, 46.

“That token clerk at the booth is mean and angry. He won’t even give you change for the machine,” she said. “That man could take out all four bad guys with his glare. Seriously!”

The 6 has been my default train for a while now, as I’ve somehow managed to confine myself to the East Side for practically all professional and personal purposes. It’s a long walk to/from the Bleecker Street station, but a pretty easy one. I can testify that it’s an uneventful line, so it’s hard to imagine dramatics taking place.

Funny thing about “Pelham One Two Three”: For years, I always thought that it referred to the 1-2-3 lines. Pure ignorance on my part, as I’d never seen the original movie until just last year, and so wasn’t familiar with the plot. It’s odd to refer to any NYC subway train by its departure time anyway, even if it is the origination station; but then, I’m not in the train-hijacking business, so what do I know…

As far as pop-cultural mindshare, neither movie version cuts it for me anyway. I’ll never watch the current release, not least because it dispensed with the iconic color code-names for the villains (were the producers afraid that audiences would think Reservoir Dogs‘ Mr. Pink et al were being ripped off??). And while the original was a fun ’70s time capsule, I had a hard time taking the usually-comic Walter Matthau seriously as a hard-boiled detective. Personally, I’ll always associate the title with its lyrical mention by the Beastie Boys in “Sure Shot”.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 06/14/2009 12:02:27 PM
Category: Movies, New Yorkin', Pop Culture
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i keed
I’m not even a little bit interested in this weekend’s Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, which looks like just one more merchandising platform in an already-oversaturated concert landscape.

But I am interested in seeing Triumph the Insult Comic Dog soon on “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien”, when he’ll be throwing down on the Bonnaroo-er scene.

Sounds like it’s easy pickings for the cigar-chompin’ puppy-puppet:

He offered pithy observations about the festival like: “They’ve got more stages than syphilis.” About one Bonnaroo act, the now middle-aged Beastie Boys, he said: “They’re a little more like the Pep Boys logo.”…

And Phish fans at Bonnaroo (where the band was playing two headlining sets) make for nearly as good material as the similarly devoted “Star Wars” fans Triumph memorably skewered in a sketch.

Rural Tennessee may never be the same again.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 06/14/2009 10:53:58 AM
Category: Comedy, Pop Culture, TV
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