BankBoston: ‘It’s Amazing’ – Mullen-Created Ads Promote New Linkage Product

By Sarah Jones

BOSTON–BankBoston last week became the last of the region’s big banks to introduce new advertising this year.

While Fleet Financial Group bills itself as ‘Ready when you are’ and Citizens as ‘Not your typical bank,’ BankBoston bowed ads crafted by Mullen in Wenham, Mass., that proclaim, ‘It’s amazing what you can do.’ The tagline seeks to position a new product called ‘Linkage’ as so easy to use, it actually enhances life. The system allows customers to link as many as 16 accounts that can be accessed by phone, ATM or home computer.

‘What this does is really play off the strength and equities both banks have,’ said Karen Green, BankBoston’s director of consumer marketing. ‘From BayBank, there’s convenience and innovation. From Bank of Boston, there’s a sense of financial expertise and serious financial planning. When you bring those together, you have a powerful story.’

Four 30-second spots feature exaggerated scenarios. In one, a mother proudly shows off her infant triplets to a visitor and explains, ‘Emily’s going to Yale, Julie’s going to Smith, and Sarah’s going to Brown.’ Linkage, it seems, not only makes automatic payments to each child’s college fund from their mother’s checking account, but also guarantees an amazing future.

A full-page ad appearing in The Boston Globe, Boston Herald and 120 community newspapers kicked off the effort, followed by billboards on Massachusetts and New Hampshire roadways. Ads also appear on buses, trains and taxis and in airports. ‘People don’t have the same kind of emotional relationships with their bank that they do with their beer,’ said creative director Edward Boches. ‘So how do you try to make it more relevant to people’s lives? (These ads) suggest that a bank isn’t someplace you go just to have an account, but that by using Linkage, you really can make a contribution to your life. We decided to stand for something that has relevance for people’s lives beyond the execution of a banking transaction.’

Mullen’s creative team included creative directors Edward Boches and Amy Watts, copywriter Dave Swartz and director Gary Johns.

Bank of Boston spent $10.5 million on advertising in 1996, according to Competitive Media Reporting, while BayBank doled out $7.2 million.

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