Mandala Bank Ads Take Flight

The Mandala Agency is letting a variety of Oregon locals, including one of its rare birds, deliver the homespun message of a local bank.
The Bend, Ore., shop has used images of Klamath First Federal’s white pelican mascot before. But the bird is front and center in new print and TV ads, chatting with Oregonians about the value of personal service and old-fashioned business style.
“You know what really burns me? All this e-mail and voice-mail and touch-tone everything,” says an older man in one print ad. “It’s enough to make you molt,” agrees the pelican.
Another ad sees the bird talking with a man who drives chickens in his rig: “Guess somebody has to show those flightless fowls the sights.”
“[Using the pelican] is a very good way to differentiate Klamath from the massive amount of bank advertising out there,” said Mandala creative director Brian Bowler.
Found in numbers near the bank’s hometown of Klamath Falls in southern Oregon, the humble, graceful birds are the perfect symbol of the client’s approach to business, Bowler said.
Since white pelicans are endangered in Oregon, the agency couldn’t use a live one, Bowler said. So it commissioned a wooden stand-in–with a swiveling head so it could move slightly in TV spots–from a Montana artist.
The 60-year-old bank operates 35 branches in Oregon. The ads begin running statewide this month.