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BofA Begins Branding Divisions

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Bank of America in mid-October began piloting a new campaign for one of its divisions in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Television and print ads for the first time promote Banc of America Investment Services as a separate entity, albeit closely allied with the parent company's new brand advertising campaign.

Produced by Bozell in New York, the 30-second TV spot shows a young boy clad in white walking across a crowded stock exchange floor while a childish voiceover wonders: "What will I be like a year from now? How much will I grow? How strong will I be in five years? In 10 years?" The boy makes a shushing sound and the boisterous, business-suited crowd on the floor falls silent.

The theme is similar to an ad created for parent company Bank of America, which broke during the Olympics. That campaign was the first to create an identity for the Charlotte, N.C., institution following its merger with Nationsbank.

Now the branding initiative is being extended to the client's other divisions.

Said bank rep-resentative Rich Brown, "We are less well-known for our investment services and this campaign is being implemented to build awareness around our capabilities in this area, which are substantial."

Previous advertising for the division focused on specific product offerings rather than the brand, Brown added.

According to bank senior vice president of branding Nanelle Napp, the new TV spot "evokes the idea of curiosity and openness that a child brings to looking at life. We feel that the spirit of 'Why not?' has made both our country and our corporation strong. What we're trying to say is why not look at the future, why not refuse to be intimidated by the markets."

Print ads with images ranging from a baby's face to a fisherman carry the tagline "Why not grow?"

Senior partner John Grogan at Bozell, who leads the account jointly managed by that agency and Temerlin McClain in Irving, Texas, said the print ads "aren't totally tied to brand look" with their emphasis on lifestyle.

The target audience is primarily current bank clients ranging from their mid-20s to mid-50s, he said.

The campaign is expected to roll out nationwide in the first part of 2001, with a budget well in excess of $10 million.