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Fla. Bank Gets Warmer

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Paradigm Shows Huntington's Human Side
ATLANTA--Likening the possible loss of local banking's personal touch to the endangered manatee, Huntington National Bank breaks a TV campaign today to help it launch its 60 new branches across Florida.
The effort, tagged "Endangered species," was created by Huntington's agency, Paradigm Communications in Tampa, Fla. The shop won the account in January.
"The first thing we thought of was the fact that community banking was becoming an endangered species, because of the mega-banks moving into the state," said agency president and creative director Sharon MaHarry. "There's less and less personal services and local control of management of the banks."
The agency's research revealed customers' "overwhelming" anxiety about the effect of big banks coming into the state and taking over smaller institutions. That served as the catalyst for using the manatee.
The outdoor portion of the campaign broke last month, with the theme, "Help us save something warm and friendly." The line alludes to the personal service of a "hometown" bank as well as the endangered sea creature.
The TV spot opens with soft music and feel-good scenes of Floridians frolicking in their native habitat. The voiceover talks about how "it's different down here, and that's the way we like it." Then a shot of black storm clouds moves across the screen, representing the invasion of large bank holding companies from other states.
The answer to the darkness, of course, is Huntington, which is described as being "as warm and friendly as Florida itself."
As part of the marketing effort, the bank will donate $5 to manatee preservation programs in the state for every new checking account with a $500 balance, or when a like amount is deposited by an existing Huntington customer.
The campaign will run in spot buys on network affiliates and cable stations in markets across Florida, including Bradenton, Daytona Beach, Fort Myers, Lakeland, Leesburg, Melbourne, Naples, Orlando, Sarasota, St. Petersburg and Tampa.
Credits: creative director, copywriter MaHarry, copywriter John Connelly, art director Bob MaHarry, broadcast producer Mary Lee and music producer Tommy Holcomb.