BofA: Bigger’s Better

Bank of America launches the massive first leg of a branding campaign this week, spending some $32 million in media between now and the end of May putting a friendly face on the nation’s No. 1 bank.
Bozell’s New York office and Temerlin McClain in Irving, Texas, provided the television, radio and print advertising. TV buys are across all dayparts. Print buys include The Wall Street Journal, Smart Money, Money and Fortune.
The 1998 merger of NationsBank and Bank of America, respectively the former third and fourth ranked financial institutions, created a behemoth with 11,500 branches and bragging rights as the country’s first coast-to-coast bank. Still, the new entity was lacking an identity, a problem the new advertising campaign, targeted at both consumers and small businesses, attempts to address.
“We’re answering the question, ‘We’re big, so now what?'” said Helen Eggers, Bank of America’s vice president of brand and communications. “Size alone is not necessarily
perceived by consumers as a benefit, so we have to show them our new face.”
In that vein, creative shows that BoA, despite its size, is customer-friendly enough to offer personalized answers to banking needs.
One ad, for instance, depicts a customer seeking a new car loan. The customer learns from Bank of America that a home equity loan is actually the more prudent fiscal play. Thus, BofA’s new tagline, “Let’s talk,” creates a sort of populist take on rival Chase’s “The right relationship is everything.” K