Fleet Touts Empowerment: Arnold Releases New Image Campaign for Fleet

By Judy Warner

BOSTON–Fleet Financial Group this week breaks a branding campaign, its first major corporate ad initiative since it completed two major acquisitions and appointed Anne Finucane as marketing chief almost two years ago.

Television, print and radio ads created by Arnold Communications in Boston are scheduled to run until early summer in the Boston, Providence, R.I., and Hartford, Conn., markets before being rolled out in the New York/New Jersey market this fall. Advertising in the newer market is being delayed until then so Fleet can complete the conversion of branches bought from National Westminster Bank in London last year, said Finucane, a former Hill, Holiday, Connors, Cosmopulos executive.

Media buys in both markets will concentrate on early and late night news and the most popular prime time programs for adults, which Finucane referred to as ‘appointment’ television, and on cable stations CNN and CNBC. The print schedule calls for buys in metropolitan dailies thoughout New England and in regional editions of The New York Times and Wall Street Journal. A fall magazine schedule is still being finalized.

‘The campaign is strategically smart and beautifully done,’ she said. The agency and client are concerned, however, that the slow paced spots in soft focus ‘won’t play’ in New York, a source close to both the client and agency said. Some observers who have seen components of the campaign snickered at the tagline ‘Ready When You Are.’ For 16 years beginning in 1968, Delta Air Lines’ advertising turned on the ‘Delta Is Ready When You Are’ tagline. Even so, Ron Lawner, chief creative officer at Arnold, defended the use of the line. ‘Who is going to remember that?’ he asked.

‘Conceptually, the campaign is about taking charge of your life,’ said Jay Williams, who served as the copywriter on the campaign. Another recently launched campaign by Arnold for The Hartford also plays on an empowerment theme with the tagline ‘Bring It On.’

A print ad shows a woman in a thoughtful pose with the headline ‘You Are the President of Your Life,’ a line also found in a TV spot. ‘The research showed that having control is more important than a big house, a good marriage or a good job, particularly among baby boomers,’ Finucane said.

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