Banking on an advertising blitz

Love you? We hardly know you.

Last month Union First Market Bank launched a marketing blitz to increase awareness and curiosity by asking, “Is it so wrong to love a bank?”

Ads for the new entity (called “Union” for short) include at least two billboards along interstates 64 and 95, as well as two TV spots and a sideline ad at the Richmond Coliseum during the Colonial Athletic Association’s men’s basketball tournament over the weekend.

“Nowadays, banks are not seen very well in the eyes of the public. We want to let people know we are not one of those big Wall Street banks,” explained Olen Thomas, a vice president and chief marketing officer at the bank.

Thomas said the bank, which is spending more than $500,000 on the campaign, would start airing more ads on TV and in print March 22, when the two banks officially hang a new shingle.

The campaign was coordinated by Boisseau Partners, which had previously been Union Bank & Trust’s marketing firm.

“Right now we think people will wonder who we are. And the rest of the ad campaign will explain what that really means. We’re setting the stage for the rest of the ad campaigns,” Thomas said.

For those viewers who might wonder whether it’s ok to love a woman in an ad for a bank – it’s not meant to be. They are not local actresses/models. The billboard uses a stock image, and the TV ads were produced in the Washington area.

Aaron Kremer is the BizSense editor. Please send news tips to [email protected]

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