U.S. Treasury Breaks Ads for New $20 Bill

BOSTON The U.S. Treasury spells out all the changes in the newly minted $20 bill in a television campaign via WPP’s Marsteller.

“Sleight of Hand” shows a clerk handing a young man one of the new $20s. “Ahh. The new $20,” the man says, as he begins to handle the bill in the manner of a Harlem Globetrotter with a basketball. A voiceover says, “We’ve changed a lot to make the new money secure. Look for the color-shifting ink. The watermark portrait. And the embedded security thread.”

In another 30-second commercial, “Beautiful Day,” a man walks up to an ATM machine and gets a wad of $20s, among which is one of the newly minted bills. “You can see right away that things are different. We’ve added color and changed the portrait. We’ve also improved the security features. But the value remains the same,” states the narrator.

The spots carry the tagline, “The new color of money. Safer. Smarter. More secure.” The effort, which breaks on Thursday, also includes radio, print and interactive work. The ads are airing on all major networks and cable stations such as ESPN.

The campaign’s strategy was to tell as many people as possible that “the new bill is coming, that it’s safe and that it has new security features that make it hard to counterfeit,” according to Andrew Nibley, chairman of Marsteller, New York.

“Our aim is the seamless introduction of the newly redesigned bills,” said Tom Ferguson, director, U.S. Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing, in a statement. “To that end, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing has been working with the vending machine industry for over a year to ensure that they have the information they need to make their equipment compatible with the newly redesigned bill by the time it enters circulation.”

The peach-colored $20 bill begins circulating on Thursday.