Integrated Matthews/Mark Promotes First National Bank

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Matthews/Mark, San Diego, launched an integrated campaign last week that uses humorous ads to promote First National Bank and its specific services to the San Diego area business community.

The campaign, which began with an ad in the San Diego Business Journal, will include print advertising and radio sponsorships through the end of this year, followed by direct mail and outdoor advertising in 1999.

Matthews/Mark, which developed the brand identity for the bank in addition to structuring the campaign, decided to focus on promoting the bank's aggressive nature and its experienced staff. Although the San Diego-based bank operates only in San Diego County, its staff -- which includes president/CEO Leon H. Reinhart -- considers First National to be more than a community bank. First National wanted to stress that it brings big-bank talent to the community.

"The brand personality we came up with is that the bank is aggressive about meeting customers' needs," said Michael Mark, president and executive creative director of the agency. "We wanted to talk in the voice of smart, passionate, slightly obsessed people who are maniacal about money and about serving their customers."

Cutting on larger banks that staff branches with young and inexperienced graduates, ads have copy that reads, "We put our zeros in a vault, not behind desks" and "Your money should be green, not your banker."

Although the bank offers a full range of services to both businesses and consumers, the campaign is mainly aimed at businesses and high net worth individuals. It often promotes specific bank services, such as one ad promoting the bank's international trade and finance department, which reads, "There's more to international banking than yo hablo Español?"

The plan of where outdoor advertising will be placed and to whom direct mail will be sent once those elements are added early next year still is being developed, but direct mail will likely be multidimensional, Mark said. He wouldn't specify what would be included to make the mailings multidimensional, but noted it probably would be an upper crust-type item, such as a cigar.

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