Ground Zero Bows UCB

In its first campaign for new client United California Bank, Ground Zero is taking a no-nonsense approach that seeks to assure consumers that their loyalty is the life blood of the bank, which has a new name and brand identity. The tagline is “Being good to you is good for us.”

Ground Zero re cently won the creative portion of the account from J.R. Navarro & Associates [Adweek, June 18]. Ads seek to establish an identity for the 115-branch bank, formed via the merger of Sanwa Bank California and Tokai Bank of California.

The image campaign currently in cludes five TV ads and three print, two radio and 10 outdoor executions. The target is Californians ages 35-54.

Campaign spending could not be determined; the bank expects to spend $10-15 million on ads this year. Navarro in Los Angeles handled the media buy.

The no-frills TV ads include nearly static scenes within the bank and a sober voiceover.

A spot that broke last week fo cuses on the bank’s idle doors. The voice says: “If 91 percent of unhappy customers never re turn and it costs six times as much to replace them, then the math works out to be a lot more expensive than it would have been to keep them happy in the first place.”

“The intention is not to be too serious, but calm and straightforward,” said Jim Smith, chairman of Ground Zero in Marina del Rey, Calif. “Everyone in bank advertising either yells and screams at you or tries to have an unctuous, soothing voice meant to convince you that they love you more than your spouse of 35 years.”