Cash Centers’ ‘Bill’ Lends a Hand

Erwin-Penland has released a holiday campaign for Advance America Cash Advance Centers in selected markets across the country.

The Greenville, S.C., shop last week launched two 30-second television commercials fea-turing “Unexpected Bill,” a humorous character the agency introduced in October.

Bill personifies unanticipated expenses that can be managed by using the Spartanburg, S.C., client’s payday advance services, the agency said.

“There’s a perception of this industry that we are there for people to over-extend themselves,” said agency director of strategic planning Roger Beasley. “But we are there to provide assistance when bad things happen financially at the wrong time, like the holidays.”

The commercials are basically the same, except for decorationsand subtle copy changes in the holiday spot. The work will air on 125network affiliates through year’s end.

In one ad, a couple eats dinner with an older man. “I can’t believe he showed up, especially during the holidays,” says the husband. “Well, Honey,” says the wife, “he’s your father.” As the camera pulls out to show Bill eating, the husband replies, “Not him, him!”

Campaign spending was not revealed. The account bills about $20 million annually.