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By Published on .

Advanta corp. was right in the picture during this summer's Paul Cezanne exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Like Ameritech, which backed last year's record attendance generating Claude Monet exhibit at Chicago's Art Institute, Advanta paid $1 million to be a sponsor. But much more than Ameritech, the financial services marketer turned its sponsorship into an integrated marketing bonanza.

In maximizing its connection to the Philadelphia museum's exhibit, which drew its own record crowds of more than 540,000, Horsham, Pa.-based Advanta set new standards for marketing tie-ins to arts sponsorships, industry insiders say.


"This is an opportunity we refused to let pass by," said Advanta Chairman Dennis Alter, adding that the sponsorship allowed his company to build brand awareness "as an instrument of growth."

Advanta's sponsorship-related promotions targeted existing and new bank customers, especially its 11.7 million credit cardholders.

Its efforts included marketing a $39.95 educational CD-ROM based on the exhibit with discounts for certain credit cardholders; sponsoring an interactive children's exhibit guide; and a variety of local print, outdoor and transit ads touting Advanta's name along with the exhibit. LaPlaca Cohen, New York, worked with Advanta and the museum on exhibit advertising; the Tierney Group, Philadelphia, collaborated on publicity.

Advanta credit cardholders got discounts on local hotels, and certain customers were offered advance ticket sales. Anyone presenting their Advanta credit card in the museum gift shop got a free Cezanne poster touting Advanta. Free Cezanne postcards included with all purchases included a promotion to sign up for the Advanta credit card.

The company also sponsored a Public Broadcasting Service special on the exhibit in July, and this fall it backs "Advanta Presents Student Encounters with Cezanne," an in-school art education program and contest.

Ameritech offered local print ads, an outdoor board and Monet-inspired prepaid calling cards in support of its sponsorship.

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