In a pair of CGI spectaculars for Super Bowl XXXIII in 1999, First Union positioned itself as the ultimate master of the universe.
"In the financial world, nothing is permanent but change," an announcer declares in this first spot as we watch a cityscape get brutally transformed by teams of construction workers. Entire skyscrapers are moved around on giant flatbed trucks and mashed together with cranes, as the voice-over explains how "Every day, companies are downsizing, seeking the right merger, looking for acquisitions that make sense." Rising above it all, of course, was First Union, "a place of stability and experience. Come to the financial mountain called First Union."
A companion spot ("Launch") used the same Manhattan-esque landscape -- Publicis & Hal Riney enlisted George Lucas' Industrial Light & Magic to construct it, and ILM's Steve Beck to direct -- but with a dystopian spin depicting "a world of risk and uncertainty" in which a guy in a suit (a banker? an investor?) is shown plunging off the roof of a building.
Today, if you call the number shown at the end of both spots, 1-800-MOUNTAIN, it rings through to Wells Fargo. By 2001, First Union was no more, having merged with Wachovia, which was then acquired by Wells Fargo in 2008.
BRAND: First Union
AGENCY: Publicis & Hal Riney