Independence Plays Up Its Size

Independence Community Bank launches a $7 million image campaign today that aims to help the regional bank compete with national institutions.

The effort, the first for the client from Margeotes Fertitta + Partners since it won the account in January, touts the benefits of the bank’s small size. Print and outdoor suggest the bank can provide the services of bigger financial institutions but is nimble enough to move more quickly, said Jolie DeFeis, group account manager at the New York shop.

“One of the things we have is a name that’s descriptive of the kind of place [the bank is]—the idea of, ‘Our independent spirit meets your independent needs,’ ” DeFeis said.

One ad for small-business loans shows a baker with his crew. Copy reads, “Once an employee, now an employer.”

The Brooklyn-based client began as a local savings bank 150 years ago and now wants to be a player in the commercial-banking world, said Janice Shillig, vp of marketing. Competitors such as North Fork and Commerce banks have expanded in New York, she said; in response, Independence has opened three branches in 2003, bringing its total to 76, and plans to add more.

The campaign is the bank’s first image effort; past work from The Kaplan Thaler Group focused on individual services, Shillig said. Ads will run on phone kiosks, billboards and bus shelters in the city and regionally, as well as in local publications, DeFeis said.