A Nerdy Atlanta Braves Groundskeeper Belts Out Bon Jovi in SunTrust’s Latest Ad

Spot promotes financial confidence

SunTrust wants you to have as much financial confidence as this guy. YouTube: SunTrust
Headshot of Christine Birkner

Financial services marketing messages typically veer toward two extremes: how the brand will protect you from financial ruin in turbulent times, or how it will empower you to take charge of your money matters. SunTrust is taking the latter approach with its latest marketing campaign, “Confidence Starts Here.”

According to SunTrust’s research, 75 percent of Americans have financial stress, and a third have nothing saved for retirement—and offering a positive, uplifting message is a powerful marketing strategy, said Susan Johnson, CMO of SunTrust.

“People need to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” she said. “They need to see the hope, so we’re portraying people in these spots that have financial confidence.”

The latest ad from StrawberryFrog takes place at SunTrust Park, the new home of the Atlanta Braves. While prepping the stadium for that day’s baseball game, a groundskeeper drops his rake and timidly steps up to the mic on the pitcher’s mound, gradually gaining more confidence as he belts out Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life” to a mostly empty stadium, as the rest of the concession and grounds grew cheer him on.

The guy’s bravura performance is all about “seizing the moment”—and that, when you’re confident about money, nothing holds you back.

“We wanted to give a visceral feeling of what financial confidence looks like,” Johnson said. “The confidence message really resonates with people, and when they have financial confidence, they start to live their lives in different ways.”

SunTrust Park just opened in April, and the company’s partnership with the Braves includes a 25-year deal for naming rights to the park as well as the onUp Experience, an entertainment center and event space across from the park that combines baseball activities with financial education and had more than 3,500 visitors on the Braves’ Opening Day.

“People are learning about money and having fun with baseball at the same time, so, so far, so good,” Johnson said. “Financial confidence doesn’t mean that you have a high net worth—it means having control over your finances. Once you have that, your whole life changes. Our marketing focuses on that pivotal moment, because it’s really freeing for people.”

@ChristineBirkne christine.birkner@adweek.com Christine Birkner is a Chicago-based freelance writer who covers marketing and advertising.