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Worried About Your Finances? SunTrust Can Help

By Published on .

SunTrust Banks is rolling out—literally—the second phase of the onUp campaign it began last year with its first Super Bowl ad. A new, consumer-confidence-pushing 60-second spot that stars a man skillfully roller-skating through city streets will air on Thursday. The new push, which includes a 30-second version of the same ad, is part of the "Confidence Starts Here" series.

Last year, SunTrust unveiled a Gary Sinese-narrated Super Bowl spot focused on the stress of financial instability—comparing the panic to having to hold your breath. The regional lender's national push resulted in 1.2 million people participating in the onUp movement, where they pledged to improve their finances.

"If last year was about stress, this year is about confidence," explained Susan Somersille Johnson, chief marketing officer at Atlanta-based SunTrust. "The campaign is about giving people that feeling of financial confidence, which gives them life confidence. The goal is to inspire people to take another action."

The new effort includes a heavy TV rotation during March Madness, and a fully integrated campaign with billboards, murals and social media. Jordan McQuiston, a roller skater who's been on "America's Got Talent," is the new spot's nimble protagonist who skates to the song "Move on up." StrawberryFrog handled the creative duties while SunTrust worked with 22squared on social marketing.

Next month, SunTrust will release the second spot in the series in conjunction with the unveiling of SunTrust Park, the new ballpark for the Atlanta Braves that opens April 14. This is the first time the bank has had naming rights to a stadium, which will also include a permanent entertainment center where consumers can learn about financial confidence through engaging features like quizzes.

The new push comes at a time when many Americans are uncertain about their financial future due to the political climate coming out of Washington, which could be serendipitous for the bank, noted Louis Sciullo, executive director of financial services in North America at brand consulting and design firm Landor.

"Anytime you can humanize a banking brand, it is a good thing and a good counterbalance to the low ranking the financial services industry suffers on consumer confidence and trust," he said. "SunTrust leans into humanizing banking and wants to be an organization driven by purpose and personal touch." He noted that linking the brand to confidence could help bring it alive.

Of course, SunTrust, which spent around $7.7 million on measured media in the U.S. last year, according to Kantar Media, is not the only banking brand adopting the human-touch tone. Fifth Third Bank, which touts "Lives Improved Through Financial Empowerment" programs, is also making use of the strategy.

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