Ingalls Effort Takes Citizens Bank To The Rails, Roads And Airwaves

Citizens Bank last week broke what were described as “interactive” transit ads and a pair of TV commercials from Ingalls Advertising in Boston.
One poster appearing in Boston-area subway stations reads, “Danger. Beware of the third rail. And missing out on free checks and free ATM use with a Citizens Bank Circle Checking Account.”
An execution placed on the back of city buses reads, “Caution. Bus stops suddenly. Just like your check and ATM charges with a Citizens Bank Circle Checking Account.”
Ingalls creative director Steve Bautista, who oversaw the campaign’s development, called the transit ads “interactive. When you’re there . . . looking at the bus or at the rails, they’re captivating.”
The television spots use the “Not your typical bank” positioning line Ingalls introduced for the Providence, R.I.-based client last year.
In a commercial for the bank’s home equity offerings, a man working late in an especially cramped home office is informed by a Citizens loan officer that he has been approved for an additional $15,000 over the loan amount he applied for to improve his home. He quickly adds a hot tub to his home improvement plans.
A second spot shows a Citizens advisor using fruits and vegetables to illustrate investment strategies to a customer. The camera pulls back to reveal that the branch is located inside a Star Market.
The television and transit executions seek to highlight specific offerings and demonstrate the ways in which the bank allows customers to do business when, where and how they choose.
“We have had success seeding the [tagline] in people’s minds . . . It has a very high recall,” Bautista said. With the positioning entrenched, “We’re looking for ways to take a stand and not do your typical advertising.”
The transit ads will appear in Boston for the next few months. The spots will run in New England markets where Citizens has branches.
Spending was not disclosed. The client is believed to spend $5-7 million annually on advertising.
Copywriter Bruno Corbo and art director Jim Cameron teamed up for the transit ads. Corbo and Eivind Ueland wrote the commercials, working with art directors Jim O’Brien and Steve Tom.