KSV Positions Banknorth As A Friend, Partner

Northern New England Financial Player Breaks Into New Markets
BOSTON–KSV last week added to its cachet of Banknorth Group assignments as it prepares to launch the client brand in two markets.
The Burlington, Vt., agency will soon adapt the multimedia branding campaign it has fashioned for Banknorth to encompass the company’s recently announced acquisitions of Evergreen Bancorp in Glens Falls, N.Y., and BankBoston’s operations in Berkshire County, Mass.
Print, radio and TV ads use the theme, “Where do you see yourself?” in an effort to position the Burlington-based client as a viable alternative to both smaller regional players and megabanks, said Tom Pierce, vice president and director of marketing at Banknorth.
Category staples such as rate- and product-driven claims are eschewed in favor of portraying Banknorth affiliates as partners ready to help consumers achieve their goals and ambitions, according to Pierce.
One print ad begins, “Dreams. One of the best parts about them is that they’re all yours. . . . And while you might expect a friend to act this way, it may not be what you’d expect from a bank.” The names of acquired banks are retained where possible, with the legend, “A Banknorth financial resource,” closing the ads.
All told, Banknorth spends about $7 million a year on advertising, making it KSV’s largest single account, said agency official Yoram Samets.
Ads introducing the Banknorth brand in Berkshire County, where the client is acquiring 10 branches for $52 million, are set to roll out in mid- November. Execution touting Banknorth’s acquisition of Evergreen–27 branches for $290 million–are scheduled for January. Those efforts will run for 8-12 weeks, Samets said.
Banknorth has combined total assets in excess of $4 billion, Pierce said. Its holdings include Farmington National Bank, First Massachusetts Bank, First Vermont Bank, Franklin Lamoille Bank, Granite Bank, Howard Bank and Woodstock National Bank.