Michael Kristof

November 14, 2001

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Citizens Bank


Explore the Citizens Bank TV campaign that successfully navigated a bank merger, retained customers, and grew deposits. The award-winning, human-focused advertisements stood out in the banking industry.
— TV Commercial Campaign —

Citizens Bank


Citizens Bank’s acquisition of Mellon Bank presented the challenge of reassuring customers that the merger wouldn’t result in loss of personal service, a concern often seen in bank mergers. There was also a need to maintain the brand identity of Citizens Bank as “Not your typical bank” during this transition.


We decided to bring forth the human aspect of banking through three ‘non-typical’ TV commercials, “Bankers Played by Humans”, “Getting Ready”, and “Man on the Street”. The commercials featured actual bank employees and real people, ensuring authenticity in our communication. Through a series of spontaneous shots and unscripted dialogues, we captured the personal, human side of banking. This non-traditional approach allowed us to convey the message that Citizens Bank would maintain its core values, even as it grew in size.


As an Art Director and Associate Creative Director, my responsibilities included the development of the overall campaign strategy, concept creation, and directing the visuals and storyboarding for the TV commercials.


The campaign was incredibly successful and received an Effie Award. In terms of business results, the campaign led to a significant increase in deposits and, impressively, virtually no loss of customers, outperforming the typical 10% attrition rate seen in bank mergers. The campaign thus successfully managed the potential risk associated with the bank merger, maintaining customer loyalty and growing the business.