Accounts in Review: SunTrust Hires a New Lead Shop

Don't despair, creative agencies, there are pitches for you, too. Not every account review right now revolves around media.

As a public service—and a needed respite from Mediapalooza 2015—Adweek below identifies the major creative opportunities, though most are far down the track and one just concluded. SunTrust Bank, after a four-month search, has selected StrawberryFrog as its new lead creative agency. The bank typically spends around $20 million in media annually, according to Kantar Media.

StrawberryFrog bested three other finalists that SunTrust declined to name and plans to produce some of the ideas that leaders like CEO Scott Goodson pitched. The selection came five months after the bank hired a new agency for media planning and buying, 22squared. JLB + Partners managed both searches.

In selecting StrawberryFrog, SunTrust chief marketing officer Susan Somersille Johnson cited the shop's past work for Emirates Airline and passion for purpose-driven brands. In particular, she wanted an agency that could translate the bank's new strategic focus ("Lighting the way to financial well-being") into ads that connect with individuals and businesses.

"We've been working on this [purpose] for 2 1/2 years, and it's really taking hold," Somersille Johnson said. "So, now was the time in our journey to find a partner who can help us get that message out."

The CMO added that the bank measures "success as an organization on sales, of course. But we also measure success and we reward and recognize teammates for helping people and helping people with financial confidence." The new agency's first ads are expected in a few months.

1

Sears/Kmart: Creative, Media

Media spend: $560 million
Incumbents: Sears: mcgarrybowen, Havas Worldwide, Havas Media; Kmart: FCB, Havas Media
Contenders: Teams from Interpublic, Publicis Groupe and Havas, led by FCB, Leo Burnett and Havas Worldwide, respectively
Completion: August

2

Coke Classic: Global Creative

Media spend: $250 million
Incumbent: Wieden + Kennedy
Contenders: Ogilvy & Mather, Sra Rushmore, Santo
Completion: August

3

U.S. Army: Creative, Media

Media spend: $180 million
Incumbents: McCann Erickson, UM
Contenders: Incumbents, others to be determined
Consultant: JLB + Partners
Completion: March 2016

 

4

Humana: Creative

Media spend: $80 million
Incumbent: Rapp
Contenders: Incumbent, undisclosed others
Consultant: Select Resources International
Completion: June

 

 

5

New York Life: Creative

Media spend: $75 million
Incumbent: Havas Worldwide
Contenders: Incumbent, undisclosed others
Completion: June

6

Empire State Development: Creative

Media spend: $50 million
Incumbent: BBDO
Contenders: Incumbent, DDB, Campbell Ewald
Completion: August

 

7

MetLife: Creative, Media Planning

Media spend: $50 million
Incumbent: Crispin Porter + Bogusky
Contenders: Handful of undisclosed shops
Consultant: Select Resources International
Completion: June

8

Priceline: Creative

Media spend: $40 million
Incumbent: Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners
Contenders: Incumbent, others to be determined
Consultant: Ark Advisors
Completion: September

9

Ragú, Bertolli: Creative

Media spend: $30 million
Incumbents: (None)
Contenders: Handful of undislosed shops
Consultant: Joanne Davis Consulting
Completion: June

10

Lincoln Financial Group: Creative

Media spend: $25 million
Incumbent: Gyro
Contenders: Grey, FCB Garfinkel, Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners
Consultant: Ark Advisors
Completion: July

 

11

SunTrust Bank: Creative

Media spend: $20 million
Incumbent: Agency D7
Contenders: StrawberryFrog, three undisclosed others
Consultant: JLB + Partners
Awarded to StrawberryFrog