Bankatlantic Is On Account At Harris Drury Cohen

BankAtlantic in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., turned to hometown shop Harris Drury Cohen (HDC) as its agency of record last week.
Per Competitive Media Re-porting, the client’s ad expenditures were only $854,000 in 1997. BankAtlantic chairman and chief executive officer Alan Levan said, however, that amount would increase “by multiples” because of the increased competition in South Florida. “There have been at least half a dozen major mergers in the market in the last year, and a couple of dozen smaller mergers taking place,” he said. “The timing is right for us to increase our awareness in the marketplace.”
With more than $3 billion in assets, the bank has 65 branches in 11 Florida counties, 12 full-service offices in Wal-Mart Supercenters throughout the state and ATMs on Celebrity and Carnival cruise ships.
“Our momentum is very strong right now,” Levan said. “And we felt we needed the expertise of [a full-service agency].”
This is the first time HDC has had a bank as a client in several years, said partner Stan Harris. He praised the client’s entrepreneurial nature, and said it would give the agency a great platform: “BankAtlantic is a very forward-thinking company. That makes it a great creative opportunity for [HDC].”
The first major work is expected in the next four months. Levan said the agency has been asked to provide a complete makeover of the bank’s marketing message.
“We’re approaching this as a branding strategy, as well as being very product specific,” he said. “We looking to them to help us in redefining our marketing awareness.”
Levan would not identify the finalists in the review, other than to say it came down to three shops. Sources said agencies contacted initially included three Miami shops: Beber Silverstein & Partners, Crispin Porter & Bogusky and Turkel Schwartz & Partners. –with Katy Eckmann