Jack Kuntz wants people to give him a ring.

Kuntz, president and chief executive of American Savings Bank in Portsmouth, Ohio, recently put his personal cellphone number on a billboard off Interstate 71 in Cincinnati as part of an advertising campaign for his $260 million-asset institution.

"Being ignored by your bank? Call my personal cell," the 20-foot sign declared. His photo is also plastered on the billboard.

The billboard is part of a six-month, $30,000 marketing campaign that American Savings launched on July 1. It includes Kuntz making local radio appearances to promote the bank's services. Kuntz received 20 calls in the four business days after the billboard's unveiling.

"I would put the calls in three categories: potential customers, sales calls, and those who want to see if it's really the CEO and not a call center," Kuntz said in an interview.

The billboard will come down from the heavily trafficked highway within a month; other billboards will be posted on less travelled roads in Cincinnati and Portsmouth.

American Savings has five branches in the Portsmouth region and two others around Cincinnati.

When Kuntz joined American Savings as CEO in October 2013, he was tasked with expanding in Cincinnati. His first significant initiative was a six-month television marketing campaign on New Year's Eve that targeted the city's audience. Those ads also included his cell number; he received about 2,500 calls from that campaign.

"We launched a TV campaign to differentiate us from the many Cincinnati bank competitors by putting my personal cell number on the spot," Kuntz said.

Kuntz said the number of American Savings working in Cincinnati has more than tripled since he joined the bank; most of those new employees are part of the mortgage division.

"We have grown that mortgage operation to generate about $100 million in annual loan closings," he said.

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