Two of the six contenders in the Citibank review [see story above] also are preparing to pitch a smaller assignment that focuses on synergies between investment bank Salomon Smith Barney and the commercial-banking division of Citibank, sources said. Young & Rubicam and Merkley Newman Harty, contenders in the Citibank contest, are competing against incumbent McCann-Erickson Worldwide for the Salomon-Citibank account, sources said. Billings are estimated at $20-30 million.
Both creative and media duties are in play. The shops will pitch creative concepts in about a month–several weeks before the pitch for Citibank, sources said. The agencies declined comment, and the client did not return calls by press time.
Previous ads for Salomon-Citibank employed images of things that work in tandem. A recent print ad, for example, showed a knife and fork side by side over copy that read, “Apart we perform with distinction. Together we serve without equal.”
The most recent TV spot, from 1999, interspliced shots of a flowing river and a hydro-electric plant as a voiceover explained, “Two forces joined together by human ingenuity create a power greater than either apart. Put the powers of world-class corporate banking and investment banking to work for your company and realize your brightest future.”
Another spot depicted the ignition and liftoff of a hot-air balloon. Both employed the tagline, “Because we can, you can.”
The assignment targets the business community, specifically companies looking to merge or acquire other companies. “This is a pretty tightly directed campaign,” a source said.
–Andrew McMain