CGN Unveils Eastern Bank Ads

Frustration with large banks’ high fees and perceived poor service are the focus of a breaking campaign for Eastern Bank.

The multimillion-dollar effort from CGN Marketing & Creative Services, Boston, includes print, TV and radio work. Online ads are also in the works for later this year, according to Susan Smith, senior vice president at CGN.

The effort introduces the tagline, “It’s your money. It’s your bank.” Spots depict customers dealing with problems often associated with large banks—hidden fees, long lines, poor customer service—in settings such as supermarkets, diners and childcare centers.

“We wanted to come up with a tagline that was more ‘ownable’ and played up Eastern’s strengths,” Smith said. “Hopefully, it will make people wake up and realize they don’t have to put up with poor service in the banking industry.”

A lot of consumers “are brainwashed into thinking they have to put up with shoddy service at the megabanks formed by recent mergers,” said Joe Bartolotta, spokesman for Eastern Bank in Saugus, Mass.

Yet the same people wouldn’t dream of putting up with such hassles in non-bank settings. “The point is, why put up with it at your bank?” Bartolotta said.

The spots are running on major Boston affiliates and cable stations such as New England Cable News and CNN through this year. Similarly crafted radio ads are running on radio stations in the area.

The print ads, prominently featuring definitions of “free” and “checking” and appear in The Boston Globe, Boston Herald and Boston Business Journal, as well as smaller local newspapers. The ads are scheduled to run through 2001, with more planned later in the year, Smith said.

This represents CGN’s second major TV campaign for Eastern Bank since it became the client’s lead agency in 1997; the first appeared in 1999. Past spots carried the “As different as a bank can be” tagline.