Ad of the Day: Bank of America

BofA cedes spotlight to generations of a family's customers in Hill Holliday's retro spot

This lovely "Portraits" spot for Instagram really does wonders with the fuzzy yellow filter that just screams late '70s/early '80s, and the casting and direction bring you into this family's world even as the costumes change with the … hmm?

What's that? This is an ad for Bank of America?

Huh.

Financial services is a tough category, but this really excellent generational short film is kind of a triumph of copywriting over brand identity. "We know we're not the center of your life," the narrator apologetically tells us at the end of the minute-long spot by Hill Holliday. And yeah, we know that, too.

What we don't know is what the narrator means when he says, "There was a connection that started it all and made the future the wonderful thing it turned out to be." Was there? Are we talking about the beautiful photo album of this lovely family that is clearly growing by leaps and bounds with each passing second? I think we must be.

Mind you, it is a really lovely advertisement. The actors are all perfect, and director Ivan Zacharias has framed every shot so that it seems to be taking place just after the family makes the needed adjustment to deal with "the second British Invasion," for example (love the cute punk girl doing her excessive makeup), or the long-haired son's "brief brush with the law."

"We know we're not the center of your life, but we'll do our best to help you connect to what is," the voiceover says at the end, followed by the briefest flash of an on-screen tagline ("Life's better when we're connected") and the client's logo.

BofA does such an impressive job getting out of its own way in "Portraits" that it could almost be an ad for anything. But it's backed up by more spots—two released so far, with many more on the way—in different styles and with more direct product messaging.

They'll be hoping you connect with them as well.

CREDITS

Client: Bank of America

Agency: Hill Holliday, Boston

Spot: "Portraits"

Executive Vice President, Chief Creative Officer: Lance Jensen

Executive Vice Presidents, Group Creative Directors: Spencer Deadrick, David Gardiner

Senior Vice Presidents, Group Creative Directors: Kevin Daley, David Banta

Art Director: Kevin Daley

Copywriters: David Banta, Lance Jensen

Executive Vice President, Director, Creative Production: Bryan Sweeney

Senior Vice President, Executive Broadcast Producer: Scott Hainline

Broadcast Production Assistant: David Shaw

Executive Vice President, Managing Director: Leslee Kiley

Executive Vice President, Account Director: Nancy Lehrer

Vice President, Account Director: Andrew Still

Management Supervisors: Kim Almazan, Jaime Zozula

Account Supervisor: Kate Norris

Account Executive: Megan Wiggin

Assistant Account Executive: Raquel Ross

Project Manager: Jillian Malenfant

Senior Vice President, Group Planning Director: Linda Lewi

Director, Broadcast Business Affairs: Lenora Cushing

Director, Business Affairs: Sharon McDonald

Production Company: Smuggler

Director: Ivan Zacharias

Producer: Nick Landon

Line Producer: Pete Slowey

Music: Original Snow Palms

—Spot: "Dumont Green"

Executive Vice President, Chief Creative Officer: Lance Jensen

Executive Vice President, Group Creative Director: Spencer Deadrick

Senior Vice Presidents, Group Creative Directors: Neal Hughlett, Sue DeSilva

Copywriter: Neal Hughlett

Art Director: Sue DeSilva

Vice President, Executive Broadcast Producer: Karen Kenney

Associate Broadcast Producer: Patrick Driscoll

Executive Vice President, Managing Director: Leslee Kiley

Executive Vice President, Account Director: Nancy Lehrer

Senior Vice President, Account Director: Jeff Nowak

Vice President, Account Director: Andrew Still

Management Supervisors: Kim Almazan, Vanessa Tebesceff

Account Executive: Angela Castellucci

Assistant Account Executive: Lisa Gapinske