A fictional band that lip-synched ditties for Experian's FreeCreditReport.com returns in new ads for FreeCreditScore.com.
The public demanded it, the company said.
The original three members were replaced in 2010 by musicians who actually toured to play the jingles live, but the outcry to bring back the first outfit was intense enough to warrant the faux band's return, according to Experian spokesman Ken Chaplin. The Canadian originals, led by Eric Violette, get their encore run in a campaign set to debut on national cable June 18.
In the previous series created by the Martin Agency of Richmond, Va., Violette, Vincent Charron and Mario Telaro "sing" out scenarios in which their lives have been ruined by credit woes. One memorable 2007 spot had them stuck in a pirate-themed fish joint serving tourists. The last commercial aired in 2010. Then Experian chose to employ a real band, called the American Secrets, to introduce Experian's FreeCreditScore.com website in commercials and perform live gigs.
As Martin's new spots for FreeCreditScore.com show, Violette and crew's cheeky slackers are now living large. The campaign's timing is apt: In his monologue on "Saturday Night Live" recently, Mick Jagger declared his favorite musicians to be "the FreeCreditReport.com band."
Ironically, Experian's site isn't quite free. You can sign up for a free seven-day trial membership, but if you don't cancel the service, its costs $16.95 per month. Under federal law, consumers are entitled to one free credit report from each of the credit bureaus every 12 months. You can sign up for those actual free reports at AnnualCreditReport.com.
Play it again, boys.
"The entertainment value and the affinity and place that the original band earned in the hearts of America in pure entertainment value was what people enjoyed," Chaplin said "They're less concerned with the musical ability of the individuals."
WATCH: A mashup of the new ads above and behind-the-scenes footage below.