CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Bank of America Corp. said Thursday that it will begin the largest brand advertising campaign in its history this month, spending approximately $100 million in television, radio, and print advertising over the next year.
The ad campaign is one of the first initiatives connected with a July announcement that the bank would lay off 10,000 middle and senior managers and use the savings in targeted growth areas. The bank said $25 million of the ad fund comes from these savings.
A spokesman said the bank intends to fund ads of a similar scope beyond the year, although money has not been earmarked for that.
National television advertising will begin Sept. 15 during the opening ceremonies of the 2000 Olympic Games. Bank of America will be the exclusive bank advertiser on NBC, the only U.S. broadcaster of the games.
The campaign is centered around entrepreneurial spirit. One ad focuses on images of important American milestones financed by the bank, including a NASA space shuttle launch and the building of the Golden Gate Bridge. An 8-year-old child ponders these feats as a voice asks "Why Not?"
TV and print ads will run nationwide, with more exposure where the bank has branches - in 21 states and the District of Columbia. The bank will advertise for the first time in New York, Boston, and other cities where it lacks a retail presence.
"We really would like to raise our profile among the investment community, for one thing," said spokesman Scott Scredon. "Having Bank of America top of mind among analysts is a primary goal for us."
A multicultural segment will begin on Sept. 18 in California, Oregon, Washington State, Texas, Arizona, Florida, and Washington, D.C. This segment will include advertising targeted to African-American, Hispanic, and Asian audiences. Some will appear in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.
Print ads will spotlight investment management and small business services - areas of increased focus for Bank of America - as well as the bank's new "talking" ATMs for the blind. Mr. Scredon said the timing is right for a national campaign now that the bank has fully absorbed NationsBank, which merged in 1998 with what was then BankAmerica. "Now we have the same name and the same logo on every bank office in the world," he said. "It's now time to invest in that brand."