Trinity Adds Small Bank With Big Plans

BOSTON The First National Bank of Ipswich is the latest small regional bank to ratchet up its marketing efforts, tapping Trinity Communications for an image-focused campaign that will also support the client’s expansion plans.

Trinity of Boston was chosen following a review based mainly on its financial-services expertise, which includes work for clients such as New England Financial, Putnam Investments and Liberty Mutual. The bank’s former agency, Haggerty & Associates of Woburn, Mass., and Perry Ballard of St. Joseph, Mich., also pitched, according to Don Gill, CEO of First National.

“Our experience in this category has always been an important strength,” said Trinity representative Peter Prodromou.

The Ipswich, Mass.-based bank has a half-dozen northern Massachusetts branches and opened four additional offices in New Hampshire last year., with two or three more to come in 2003. Trinity was hired to help the client raise its profile in both states and to trumpet the future branch openings.

The budget is in the mid-six-figures, according to Gill. The first push from Trinity will likely include print and broadcast work that will appear in the second quarter, designed to help the bank establish itself as more of a presence in the New Hampshire communities into which it expanded in the past 18 months, Gill said. The current tagline, “Investing in relationships,” will be retained.

New England’s smaller banks have been jockeying for market share of late as they continue to face competition from national institutions such as FleetBoston Financial and Citizens Bank. Rockland Trust and Century Bank recently chose Clarke Goward and Velocity Advertising, respectively, as their new agencies, and each will soon launch a new campaign. And late last year, Gearon Hoffman introduced new ads for Compass Bank introducing the tagline, “Refreshingly positive.”

“We all offer the exact same services and products,” which makes “what you do to differentiate yourself” all increasingly important, Gill said. For First National, stressing its dedication to community banking and involvement will be paramount, he said.