ATM Rivals Battle for Turf Using New Jersey Radio Ads

Some call it the Garden State; others think of it as the Land of Toxic Smells. It's New Jersey, and two of the nation's largest automatic teller machine networks see it as a land of opportunity.

The networks, the New York Cash Exchange and Philadelphia-based Money Access Service, are pursuing New Jersey commuters who cross into New York and Pennsylvania every day.

Mac and NYCE, as they are known, are longtime rivals that tend to move in lockstep. Both recently launched big radio advertising campaigns in New Jersey - squarely between the major markets of New York City and Philadelphia.

The NYCE campaign, called See and Do, encourages Garden Staters to visit historic and recreational sites - and hit a local bank's cash machine to fund the fun. A billboard campaign on New Jersey's roadways began in July.

NYCE's 60-second radio spots, created by the New York firm of Korey, Kay & Partners, began airing Sept. 30 on 25 stations in New Jersey, Philadelphia, and New York City.

That same day, Mac began a radio blitz in virtually the same market. Although they overlap in many regions, Mac also dips down into the Middle Atlantic states while NYCE focuses upward on New England.

Mac's advertising is "generic," pushing basic ATM and point-of-sale services, said Robin Mandell, assistant vice president for marketing services.

The radio spots, created by Gray, Kirk, & VanSant of Baltimore, feature man-in-the-street interviews with consumers who use Mac cards. The ads describe various transactions available via the network.

Mac, through statement stuffers mailed by its member banks, has also distributed some 250,000 informational brochures in New Jersey that explain the use of Mac cards at Mobil gas stations. The pamphlets were part of a cooperative marketing program sponsored by the network and Mobil.

Since CoreStates Financial Corp. created Mac, in 1979, the network has always been profitable. But bank officials said monthly transaction volume is up only slightly since 1990 and at a standstill for the full year.

Cross-Border Progress

NYCE, owned by nine northeastern banks, is the largest U.S. regional ATM system, with more than 9,600 in 24 states. Despite its name, its corporate headquarters sits in - you guessed it - Hackensack, N.J.

NYCE grew strongly in New Jersey in the late 1980s and 1990, aggressively signing financial institutions that already had memberships in the Mac system. There are now 913 NYCE machines in new Jersey.

Mac links 7,766 ATMs in nine states. It does not disclose the number of machines by market, but sources believe New Jersey has more than 1,000 ATMs with Mac logos.

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