Super Bowl

SunTrust Enters Super Bowl With First Ad

Lender Touts Ability to Alleviate Financial Stress with 30-second Spot From Strawberry Frog

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SunTrust's Super Bowl spot depicts consumers from all walks of life.
SunTrust's Super Bowl spot depicts consumers from all walks of life. Credit: SunTrust
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SunTrust Banks will debut its first national Super Bowl ad this year. The Atlanta-based lender plans to broadcast a 30-second spot with a high-minded goal: inspire Americans to feel more confident about their finances and less stressed.

"Financial stress is a national issue and it warrants national attention," explained Susan Somersille Johnson, chief marketing officer of SunTrust. She noted that improvements in the economy helped to solidify the timing of the spot. SunTrust also interviewed over 190,000 people about their financial concerns and found that money is often a top affliction.

The spot, which was filmed in several locations around the U.S., will air as the last ad during the two-minute warning break in the game's fourth quarter. SunTrust worked with Strawberry Frog on the commercial; Dante Ariola directed.

"Most Super Bowl commercials either aim for laughs to generate buzz or use provocation to push a product, and I think we're going to distinguish ourselves by doing something completely different," said Scott Goodson, founder of Strawberry Frog. "We're going to create a film that has a galvanizing message to inspire people from this terrible financial stress."

The TV spot will be part of an integrated campaign that will continue through February and include a 60-second version that will air online, and then on TV after the Super Bowl. Ms. Johnson declined to disclose the budget spent on the effort.

In the third quarter, SunTrust reported revenue of $2.1 billion, a 1.3% rise over the year-earlier period, and profit of $537 million. The lender has been making a name for itself in recent months with the tech community by working with startups such as Uber and Fitbit. Ms. Johnson noted that the Super Bowl is not focused around any new product offerings, but intended to further financial awareness and guidance.