KEYCORP NARROWS AD FOCUS: BANK CHAIN PUMPS UP '98 SPENDING TO $110 MILLION

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Seeking to build on a 3-year-old branding effort, KeyCorp is boosting marketing spending 10%, to $110 million, in 1998.

Roughly $60 million of the banking company's budget will go toward media spending.

Key will put most of its marketing behind two areas identified as major baby boomer concerns: financial planning and educational lending.

Its new tag: "Help at every turn."

"The message is we can help the customer at every point in time," said Stephen A. Cone, chief marketing officer.

On Jan. 20, Mr. Cone was tapped by Fidelity Investments to be president-customer marketing and development, a position he starts Feb. 9. But Key plans to stick to his blueprint for 1998, a spokesman said.

OUTSIDE OWN TERRITORY

Key plans in August to start running ads for a new, flexible student-loan product in the top 20 markets, including cities outside its 14-state territory.

The bank is still weighing what media to use in markets outside its home turf. Consumer publications and radio are two options being considered, Mr. Cone said.

While it is unusual for banks to advertise products outside their home regions, Key did it last year by running national cable TV spots for its credit card.

Lord Group, New York, a unit of Young & Rubicam, handles Key.

Print ads using the new tag started running Jan. 2, replacing "Key for a new America." That had been considered a transitional tag to highlight the bank after its creation through the merger of Key and Society Bank. Now the focus is on creating an image for the bank as a one-stop financial shop.

TV commercials break Feb. 6.

Key had been testing the tag "End the confusion" in some markets last year (AA, Oct. 20).

"Help at every turn" was considered more positive, though "End the confusion" will appear as a subtheme in body copy, Mr. Cone said.

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