U.S. Bank Taps Crossmedia as Media Agency of Record

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U.S. Bank is switching things up by appointing Crossmedia its new media agency of record. The Minneapolis-based bank, which is operated by U.S. Bancorp, initiated a review of its media-planning and -buying business in the spring before awarding the account to Crossmedia, an independent shop, earlier this year. Crossmedia will handle media buying, planning and use real-time analytics.

"We're looking at taking our brand to a new place," said Kate Quinn, exec VP-chief strategy and reputation officer at U.S. Bank. "[We have] all of this new energy around our brand and Crossmedia represents a way for us to continue to express that energy to the outside world."

The bank, which spent $45.7 million on measured media in the U.S. last year, according to Ad Age's Datacenter, had previously worked with Empower MediaMarketing, which is based in Cincinnati, for 20 years. U.S. Bank has been working to differentiate its brand from the competition and win over consumers through emotional connections. Part of the shift includes a new approach to media.

"We're very problem-solving-oriented," explained Kamran Asghar, chief executive of Crossmedia. "If [clients are] looking for the same of what they had or a legacy model, we don't tend to connect as well, but if they're looking for true change and transformation in how they approach media then we really strike a chord." He noted that Crossmedia's job will be to figure out what differentiates the brand in the highly commoditized banking business in order to focus on specific channels and programs.

Earlier this year, U.S. Bank rolled out a new creative branding campaign, "Power of Possible," which was created with Carmichael Lynch, the brand's creative agency of record as of 2015. Ms. Quinn noted that so far reputational metrics from the campaign in certain regions has met or exceeded expectations and that customer feedback has been positive. As part of the effort, the company has increased its community outreach and created a 13,000-mile relay of volunteerism across the country in 2016.

Next year, the bank is planning to amplify its social media programming and engagement and promote new extensions of the "Power of Possible" push.

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