Via Preps First Banknorth Ads

Via’s first image campaign for Banknorth attempts to reinforce the company’s image as a regional player of note and introduces the tagline, “It’s nice knowing.”

The campaign is budgeted at $10 million and consists mainly of print and radio executions, the latter voiced by actor Kevin Kline.

“Our strategy was to position Banknorth as the company that delivers peace of mind to customers in the Northeast,” said Rich Rico, chief creative officer at Via, Portland, Maine. “They do that by having a vast network behind them while maintaining local banking contacts.”

Work will break in January in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York, the states in which Banknorth principally does business.

One black-and-white execution shows the lined face of an older man with the copy, “Bob’s bank changed its name. It was First Massachusetts. Now it’s Banknorth. Bob’s good with that. See, he’s still banking with folks he knows. And who know him. As always, they’re working together. Fine-tuning his retirement. Firming up his insurance … After all, Banknorth is the Bank of Bob.”

Another ad shows four children, and text begins, “Kate is the first. Eric is the baby. Somewhere in between, a single stop for their family’s banking, investments and insurance became essential. So, they turned to Bank-north, a/k/a the Bank of the Joneses. For them, it is the one local bank strong and convenient enough to keep up with the Joneses.”

Apart from building the bank’s image, each advertisement touts a separate product and targets a different audience demographic.

“The goals of the campaign were to create brand awareness, generate new accounts and tell the whole story,” said Rick Dempsey, executive vp of marketing at Banknorth.

Via added the Banknorth assignment, arguably the agency’s largest and most visible account, in September.