Spanish Bank Commercial Draws Millions On The Web
Spain's fifth-largest bank, the 130-year-old Banco Sabadell, has used the anthem of the European Union, Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" from his Ninth Symphony, to create a commercial that has gone viral on the Internet (2.5 million views on YouTube as of Monday morning at http //youtu.be/GBaHPND2QJg). The so-called flashmob gathered for the ad's production included 100 participants from the Vallès Symphony Orchestra, the Lieder, Amics de l'Òpera and Coral Belles Arts choirs. It landed on Spanish television in early June during a month of roller-coaster ups and downs for the country. It beat Italy for the European soccer championship but struggled to stay afloat economically in the crisis over the euro. Moody's downrated most of Spain's banks, including Banco Sabadell, in mid June, ironically at a time when the bank's commercial was beginning to draw international attention on the Web. European Union members voted to help bail out some of Spain's smaller banks to the tune of $125 billion, but Sabadell opted out of the deal and insisted the bailout would wind up doing more harm than good. Meanwhile, Spain continued to drift ever more deeply into recession, as unemployment soared. It was against this gloomy background that the video, featuring stirring music and obviously joy-filled listeners filling a square in front of the bank's main branch in Sabadell, Spain (north of Barcelona) was produced.