Brand: TD Banknorth (Maine)
Link: Click Here – it is the second to last spot, entitled “Teller Window Hook Shot”
Target: Consumers looking for the personal touch in banking
A Mustang convertible approaches a drive-through bank window. A bank teller says, “He’s back!” to her female colleague and they lean towards the window. Funky, 70′s era music begins to play as we see the driver – a guy dressed in green with long hair, beard, mustache and a green sweatband wink at the tellers. He carefully puts change in the deposit envelope and seals it, then as the spot pans back we see him execute a slow hook shot into the bank deposit drawer. The two women jump and cheer, high-fiving each other and one exclaims, “That’s my man!” The words “We’re fans too” banner across the screen before it wipes to the TD Banknorth name and logo with the tagline “above and beyond.”
This advertising blog has covered many bank spots over the past months and most of them boil down to putting lipstick on a pig – no matter what they say, these advertisering banks are huge institutions with more assets than most Latin American countries. So showing the bank manager handling a deposit personally or greeting a customer is nice but it doesn’t really compensate for the annoying hidden fees, automated voice menus and crushing teller lines on Fridays.
This makes it all the more interesting to watch a small bank launch a television ad campaign. TD Banknorth is not exactly a hometown bank as they have outlets throughout New England, but they do qualify as a small regional bank and they have much less to lose by being quirky. This Maine-based bank uses this spot to glorify stubborn New England individualism. It looks very similar to Applebee’s positioning without that feeling of a national franchise trying to act local. It is surprising how well the familiar “we live here, too” formulation works for a smallish bank whose claim feel genuine.
Here’s what we like about this spot:
- Simple and Direct – It is not difficult to understand what’s going on and there are no flashy distractions.
- Brand Positioning is Clear – The’ local bank understands you’ positioning is not unique, but it allows TD Banknorth to stake their competitive turf. This spot is really a category building spot that could benefit any local bank with a distinctive personality. But it allows TD to stand apart from the Chases and Citibanks of the world and compete against the smaller banks.
- Low Budget Execution – It is nice to see a spot that entertains without special effects This spot has only one setup and makes the actors do all of the work. Which works just fine.
- Humor that works – the humor in this case works for the brand positioning and it is relevant. We like a bank that has employees with a human side. We love the fact that this goofball, 70′s throwback, middle-age guy has become a mascot for these bank tellers. It puts a human face on the bank.
We were careful above to say that this positioning is not unique. TD Banknorth is not the only bank that can claim to be local boosters. This positioning only builds a shield against the big banks that TD can use to try to compete where the playing ground is more sloped in its favor – against even smaller local banks. That is not a bad strategy, but unless TD continues to build this campaign with similarly iconic executions this one spot will not change much. Like most small companies, TD Banknorth needs to commit to the marketing effort for it to be successful.
A smaller concern with this spot is branding. Until the last frame, we do not see the TD brand. While the execution is unusual, the link back to TD could be much stronger. When the customer is pulling into the bank in the first frame, we would like to see some visual identification of the bank.
Branding Bottom Line:
TD Banknorth takes on the big guys with some down-home cookin’.