Gearon Breaks Bank Campaign

Gearon Hoffman’s latest print ads for Capital Crossing Bank liken the chance of getting face time with officials at larger financial institutions here to various scenarios, such as encountering UFOs and meeting the Queen of England.

“We wanted to position them as the alternative bank,” said Dick Davis, creative director at Gearon Hoffman, Boston. “There have been a lot of mergers lately and a lot of lip service—small to midsize business owners aren’t getting any [attention from bigger banks]. The ads are all about not being able to talk to someone.”

In one execution that features a photograph of a UFO, the headline asks, “Are we alone? Based on how often you see your banker, you have to wonder.” Copy states: “If there hasn’t been a sighting of your banker in a while, maybe you should change banks. At Capital Crossing Bank, you’ll have direct access to an experienced decision-maker who’s always available to meet with you to discuss your business and provide answers.”

Another ad, showing people in a trendy night spot, begins, “If you wanted to meet new people, you’d go to a singles bar, not your bank.”

Ads continue to position Capital Crossing as “Boston’s business banking alternative.”

The new print ads target small to midsize business owners. They will appear in publications such as the Boston Business Journal, Bankers and Tradesman and Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. Spending was not disclosed but is believed to be in the low-seven-figure range.

The campaign is the bank’s second push from Gearon Hoffman—the first was in late 2000—and once again is designed to help Capital Crossing compete with larger rivals such as FleetBoston Financial, Citizens Bank and Sovereign Bank. The shop’s earlier effort also portrayed Capital Crossing as “Boston’s business banking alternative.”

“We needed to do something that sets us apart,” said Rob Siegrist, vice president of marketing at Capital Crossing, Boston. “We were looking to break out of the advertising clutter of other banks.”

FleetBoston and Citizens, the region’s two largest banks, both launched campaigns in May. Fleet’s effort touts online banking; Citizens’ ads play up customer service.