Arnold Tries Fresh Direction for Citizens

BOSTON New commercials breaking for Citizens Bank retain the familiar “Not your typical bank” tagline, but otherwise, the spots from Havas’ Arnold take the campaign in a new visual and thematic direction.

In keeping with the tenor of the uncertain economic times, new spots take an understated and reassuring approach in discussing financial issues that impact people’s daily lives. Commericals present average-looking spokespeople, off to the side of the screen, framed by the bank’s familiar green colors. They speak directly to viewers in straightforward conversational tones.

“One of the coolest things about putting your money in a money-market account from Citizens Bank, I mean, besides the interest rate, is that it doesn’t all of a sudden become something else, like a share or a fund, or anything else,” says a middle-aged man in one 30-second spot. “With Citizens Bank you can get to your money through your ATM. Just like it was regular money.”

The new work was guided by creative director Ron Wilcox, working with art director Robert Hamilton and copywriter Cristina Gordet.

Previous ads from the Boston agency for the bank, which ranks as the region’s second largest behind FleetBoston Financial, presented real-life stories of bank employees going the extra mile to help customers.

Citizens spends an estimated $20-25 million annually on ads, per CMR.