Citi’s Looking for a Revival

According to The Wall Street Journal, Publicis reached into the archives for Citigroup.

Beginning this weekend, Citigroup will kick off a global ad campaign that reprises the tagline “The Citi Never Sleeps,” which made its debut in 1978. In digging into its marketing vault, Citi is engaging in the popular ad strategy of using a familiar catchphrase as a tonic during periods of economic and other uncertainty.
(but) Some ad experts believe Citi is going in the wrong direction with its latest ads. “With the situation that our economy is in now, it’s unrealistic to think that nostalgia will be comforting to people, because people are dealing with harsh realities,” says Rita Rodriguez, chief executive of the U.S. division of the Brand Union, a branding company owned by WPP Group PLC.

I don’t know. Whatever the economy’s doing, people still have dreams they want to make realities of, and that often means having a friend at the bank. A friend who doesn’t sleep “on the job.”

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. JayDenver says:

    Never sleeping = insomnia? Perfectly understandable given the economy.

  2. A great marketing tag line that was true for the Citi of the 70’sand 80’s. The line was so good it lasted for nearly two decades and was a very effective marketing tool.
    However, today people will laugh, particularly customers, at the ad because Citi is NOT SLEEPING BUT RATHER IN A COMA !!!!!! They need new management and direction to get things going and only the worry about a new tag line.
    Do you remember the last two bombs “Let’s get it done, and Live richly”. the only ones who are living richly are the top dog managers who took in millions while the big C lost half of its market value !!!!!11

  3. Citi never sleeps makes a strong promise to the peeps. Like me, and i’ll hold ’em to it. It’s my money they’re f*cking with.
    Live richly could have been executed better.