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Commerce Bank Eyes 'Seinfeld' Set

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Commerce Bank hopes to make a splash in the New York market with a campaign starring actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Breaking today, two TV spots from Tierney DeGregorio Advertising in Philadelphia attempt to set the Cherry Hill, N.J., client apart from megabanks such as Chase and Citibank and midsize firms like Washington Mutual. The effort focuses on Commerce's extended hours, free checking and free coin-exchanging program.

Louis-Dreyfus "epitomizes the Commerce Bank customer—smart, urban, witty," said Tierney art director Sig Gross.

In one ad, Louis-Dreyfus has a frustrating encounter with a teller who refuses to fix her ATM card or accept her change. She then leads a group of disgruntled patrons to Commerce Bank, where she proclaims, "It's a miracle!"

In the other ad, she searches for change under couch cushions, in fountains and pay phones. She deposits the money in the bank's "Penny Arcade," a free coin-checking machine. The tagline remains, "America's most convenient bank."

The campaign will air in the Philadelphia and New York metro areas. Thirteen of the bank's more than 200 branches are located in New York, with expansion in the works. Previously, Commerce ran "very functional" advertising in New York, said Tierney account director Rick Radzinski.

Tierney has handled the $10 million account for six years.