Howard Gets Personal For ‘Small-Town’ Bank

By Jim Osterman

ATLANTA–Inspired by hours of conversations with its customers, Winston-Salem, N.C.-based BB&T breaks a television campaign this week that stresses the personal relationship between North Carolina’s largest bank and its clients.

The spots, created by Howard, Merrell & Partners, Raleigh, N.C., are tagged: ‘You can tell we want your business.’

‘When we began working with (the client), it became pretty obvious they had a respect for the individual,’ said agency creative director Scott Crawford. ‘BB&T started as a small-town bank, and even though it’s grown, they have retained that small-town culture.’

The spots are also noteworthy for not showing a bank, or talking directly about banking services. Instead they speak to the issues everyone wrestles with concerning life and money.

In one commercial a man defines his various roles–husband, brother, worker, boss–and how they impact his life. ‘When I walk into a bank, I don’t expect them to know this, but I do expect them to ask,’ he concludes.

Another version has the musings of a 71-year-old grandmother: ‘I’ve seen money wasted, I’ve seen it used to accomplish things I never thought possible. I will teach my grandchildren to know the difference.’

The campaign will air in BB&T’s markets throughout the Southeast on local news programs and in spot buys on shows like 60 Minutes and Primetime Live.

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