Bank of America executives today briefed the finalists in the bank’s global creative review, which pits traditional ad agencies against a digital shop and a holding company team.
The briefing took place at BofA’s headquarters in Charlotte, N.C. The contenders will now prepare for final presentations, which are slated for late April. Globally, the bank spends about $2 billion annually on advertising, which makes BofA one of the biggest reviews of the year.
In addition to roster shops BBDO, Hill Holliday and Digitas, the contenders include The Richards Group and a team from WPP Group, Adweek has learned. WPP’s team is said to include executives from more than a half-dozen agencies, including those that already work for BofA, such as Brand Union.
BofA, like a lot of banks, is rethinking its marketing strategy in the wake of the 2008 housing market collapse and subsequent government bailouts.
Since 2007, BofA’s ads have borne the tagline, “Bank of opportunity.” Before that, when its marketing was handled by more than a dozen units of Interpublic Group, “Higher standards.” was the tag.
In a document that BofA distributed to participating agencies earlier in the review, the bank said it was looking for a new positioning, a strategic framework, a launch plan and creative work. The document also outlined the main criteria that BofA executives will use to assess the pitches, including which ideas will best generate attention or disruption around the bank’s brand and which will enable BofA to communicate to its internal audiences.
The review committee includes a dozen or so marketing and corporate executives, including global strategy and marketing officer Anne Finucane and CEO Brian Moynihan. BofA could not immediately be reached.