Perhaps the next stop for Berkshire Bank will be Hollywood.
The $6.3 billion-asset company recently received two prizes — a Telly Award and a silver award for distinction from the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts — for a television advertisement supporting its "Life is Exciting" campaign. The recognition came with a great sense of pride since much of the ad was developed in-house, based on internal research.
"A lot of it was our blood, sweat and tears," said Mark Pedrotti, the Pittsfield, Mass., company's digital marketing director. "We wrote a script and went through 20 different versions of it. We just kept narrowing it down."
Once Berkshire had the script ready, it worked with an ad agency and an animation studio to complete the commercial. Geno Auriemma, famed coach for the University of Connecticut women's basketball team, provided a voice over in the commercial, pointing out the exciting life events that Berkshire has supported.
"We're the tune you're rocking to with the windows down in your first car," Auriemma said in the ad. "We're the feeling you get the first time you turn that key to your new home."
Auriemma, a former Berkshire director, remains a spokesman for the bank. Still, Berkshire auditioned several other candidates for the voice over before selecting Auriemma. When he did a read through of the script, Auriemma's voice had a certain quality that intrigued Berkshire.
"We wanted it to sound like, if you close your eyes, someone is talking to you," Pedrotti said. Auriemma "is good with a little bit of unpolished pieces to his voice. We didn't want it to be too stoic, like a Morgan Freeman."
The advertising campaign extends beyond just this commercial for Berkshire. Employees also go through the company's "America's Most Exciting Bank" university, which is designed to help them provide better customer service. The theme is also featured on billboards and on the company's website.
"When we talk about what's our value proposition, we bring that excitement, that passion," said Elizabeth Mach, Berkshire's marketing officer. "We help our customers identify those important moments in their lives that make them happy."
Berkshire also won a silver award of distinction from the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts for its annual report. This is the third time the company has won a Telly, which honors local, regional and cable TV commercials and programs.