Michael Kristof

November 14, 2001
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Citizens Bank

Portfolio

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

Problem:

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.

Solution:

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.

Role:

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.

Impact/Results:

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.