Banking on Humility
Banks. People hate ’em and love ’em at the same time. Bank of America, rated #7 as the least-trusted bank in the United States, is trying to change up its persona for customers. The bank is now trying a new, more humble brand position that is spearheaded by Chief Marketing Officer Anne Finucane.
The two ad agencies that will be in charge of their campaign are WPP and the Interpublic Group of Companies–Hill Holliday branch. Their approach will be along the lines of trying to get BOA to display more “humility”, says Ms. Meredith Verdone, Head of Brand Marketing for the bank. She adds, “It’s now about [the bank]. We need to focus on customer needs first and we know our place. We know we’re not the center of your life, but we will connect you to what it is.” Their previous campaign was tagged “Bank of Opportunity” by BBDO, but now it’s going to be “Life’s Better When We’re Connected” and, in their international markets, will be “The Power of Global Connection”.
In one of their newer commercials, BOA talks about how they helped start the process of a woman driving her kids to lunch in her new Volkswagon, of making sure each car passes its necessary inspections, and of hiring a few thousand employees in Tennessee by financing the plans for a new factory. It’s the bank’s way of showing how involved they are in making sure everyday working people are happy. Is it a stretch? Somewhat. But it’s also showing the impact a bank can make on all types of people, from the working mother to the now-employed repairman, with their work.
In my opinion, this campaign should be just the tip of the iceberg on Bank of America’s part. Banks as a whole have a general reputation of being greedy, so “humility” is going to be quite the battle to win. It doesn’t help that BOA was part of the LIBOR scandal and had problems with mortgage fraud under the False Claims Act. They need to make sure that their actions fall in line with their marketing message. My advice for BOA: It’s great that you’re trying to rebrand yourself into being a more “down-to-earth” business to stand out from the other banks. However, just don’t forget to walk the walk too.
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Oh and by the way:
LAST WEEK’S POST WAS A JOKE. BACON-FLAVORED MOUTHWASH NEVER DID EXIST. APRIL FOOLS!!!