BofA makes most of ‘opportunity’

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Bank of America last month kicked off its largest advertising campaign ever, aimed at the enterprise, small-business and consumer segments.

The campaign, with the tagline "Bank of opportunity," introduces Bank of America's new positioning as a financial institution that understands its customers' needs and can provide services to help them achieve their goals.

The campaign was developed by a number of Omnicom Group agencies, led by BBDO New York, which handled the creative. The budget was undisclosed.

"We wanted to create a very flexible brand architecture that would work across our different product groups and customer segments, from consumers all the way to corporate customers and wealth management executives," said Robbyn Tangney, brand marketing executive at Bank of America.

The campaign includes TV, print, radio, online and outdoor, and was launched with a 60-second commercial during ABC's telecast of the 79th Annual Academy Awards.

The new positioning replaces Bank of America's previous tagline "Higher standards," although Tangney said "Bank of opportunity" builds on the "Higher standards" theme.

"We could not have arrived at our new brand positioning theme without first establishing our previous brand essence," she said.

"Higher standards," which was developed by Interpublic Group, was launched in 2003.

Integrity important to image

Tangney said that in a post-Enron, post-9/11 environment, it was important to establish Bank of America as a financial institution with the brand attributes of performance, trust and integrity.

"Over the last four years, our company has gone through dramatic change and growth," she said, citing expansion from 24 million to 55 million customers and a significant global presence. "It was important to communicate with and have a dialog with our customers in helping to understand what's important to them when they bank with Bank of America."

To do this, Bank of America conducted extensive research with its different target audiences, from consumers to multinational corporations, to find out what they were looking for in a banking partner.

"We kept hearing that the positioning of `opportunity' would resonate—understanding what the customer wants, and showing that we have the services, scale and execution brought home by `Higher standards,' " Tangney said.

The campaign includes four TV spots currently running on both broadcast and cable TV networks.

The initial spot, which broke during the Academy Awards, shows a variety of people peering into Bank of America's "flagscape" symbol, which appears as a window on a busy street, to see how Bank of America can help them realize their goals, from buying a home to succeeding in business.

The first ad is an overall brand positioning message aimed at all Bank of America's target audiences, from consumers to enterprise customers.

Additional TV spots focus more specifically on Bank of America products and services, such as its home equity line of credit services and Keep the Change, a savings program for Bank of America cardholders.

The print campaign is aimed more specifically at business audiences, including small-business customers and global corporations, to show how Bank of America provides services to meet their needs.

"Small business is a very significant opportunity for us," said Meredith Hein, small-business marketing executive at Bank of America. "We have been increasingly focused on this segment."

Historically, Bank of America has not done much advertising to the segment, she said. However, recognizing the potential of this audience, with more than 23 million small businesses in Bank of America's service areas, the company last year established a small-business division and launched a marketing program called Business 24/7.

The program provides services for small businesses, such as payroll and credit lines, and provides online tools for small businesses at

As part of its integrated campaign, Bank of America is also running online ads, as well as radio and outdoor advertising in major markets.

To help kick off the campaign, Bank of America sent "brand ambassadors" into the streets in 15 U.S. cities on Feb. 26 to pass out free cups of coffee and coupons for free coffee to people on their way to work.

"We really wanted to bring the brand to life and help people wake up to new opportunity," Tangney said.

Also as part of the campaign, Bank of America is launching several major initiatives around the theme of opportunity. For example, it will donate more than $200 million this year to nonprofit organizations to meet the needs of local communities.

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