Interpublic vs. Omnicom in $170 Mil. BofA Pitch

A new Spanish-language spot from Lopez Negrete for Bank of America uses brawn to demonstrate the added protection available to customers of the client’s check and credit cards.

In the ad that breaks Wednesday in spot markets, a man who steals a woman’s credit card changes his mind when four muscle men surround him. Each one wears a T-shirt listing features of the bank’s new Total Security Protection. The voiceover: “It’s as if your Bank of America check card and credit card have bodyguards for free!”

“We make the point that TSP is such a part of credit and debit products that ours are unappealing to thieves,” said Alex Lopez Negrete, president of the Houston shop.

The angle of the spots, which target existing BofA customers, differs slightly from those breaking today in the general market. In one of three of those 30-second ads from Bozell, a red brick wall is drawn in the path of a thief to prevent his flight.

Lopez Negrete said the nuance for the Hispanic spot is that “protection is there for you even when the card is not stolen.” Focusing too heavily on crime could pose a problem for the segment, he said, since Latinos tend to be more apprehensive about using the cards because of theft and liability.

The spot will run through the year on Hispanic network and cable channels in 10 markets. Print and radio complement the effort.

BofA is spending $26 million to introduce TSP, which is one of its most significant consumer brand initiatives for 2002, the client said.

In related news, the bank is looking to move its $170 million consumer and affluent-market business to one holding company to achieve a coordinated, multi-disciplinary approach.

Teams made up of executives from Omnicom Group and Interpublic Group shops presented integrated marketing plans to BofA in Charlotte, N.C., last week, the client said.

The bank’s multicultural business is not affected. —with Ann M. Mack and Kathleen Sampey