Filias Goes ‘Beyond Free’ for St. Mary’s Bank

In Filias Advertising’s first broadcast work for St. Mary’s Bank, humor and the line “Beyond checking. Beyond comparison” are used to introduce the client’s “Beyond Free” checking account.

In one execution shot from the perspective of an ATM, a woman begins a conversation with the machine by saying, “Hi. I just wanted to say ‘I love you.’ You’re great. With my Beyond Free account I get free checking, free ATMs and interest, even with my balance … I said to myself, ‘It’s got to be a gimmick.’ But no, it’s free.” As she’s talking, the ATM dispenses a receipt, and she exclaims, “A love note!”

In another ad, the same woman brings her husband, who makes fun of her for talking to the machine.

“The purpose of the [ads] was to be more aggressive in our effort to reposition the bank from its former misperception of being a credit union for French Canadians,” said agency president Greg Filias. “Now they’re a bank that offers serious products [and is] competing against the big banks.”

“Our goal was to gather [new] financial relationships,” said Karen Girard, marketing specialist at St. Mary’s Bank, Manchester, N.H. “[Filias] absolutely met our goals. Since the ads broke [just a few weeks ago], 400 Beyond Free checking accounts have been opened.”

The TV spots, are airing on broadcast and cable channels in New Hampshire.

The effort also includes outdoor, direct mail pieces and in-branch promotions, and constitutes the largest push the Portsmouth, N.H., agency has made for the client since adding the account a year ago. Spending is believed to be in the six-figure range.

Separately, Filias recently scored the Tretorn USA account. The agency launched the Boulder, Colo., tennis shoe company’s spring 2002 line and repositioned the brand using the line “Look back. Step forward,” according to Filias. The agency also created sales collateral for the company.

Filias’ client roster includes New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation, Eastern Propane and Sprague Energy.