CHARLOTTE, N.C. - With its deal to buy advertising across the television, Internet, and print properties of AOL Time Warner Inc., Bank of America Corp. is intensifying its efforts to develop a national financial services brand after years of acquisitions.
Sources familiar with the contract, one of the largest of its kind, said Bank of America plans to spend $30 million in the first year alone. That would be nearly a third the amount it has spent on an advertising/branding campaign begun last September, when the last of its branches were converted to a common logo and signage.
Announced Tuesday, the AOL Time Warner agreement was in part the work of Dan Roselli, hired last year as Bank of America's head of brand and communications. The former marketing executive with the British luxury goods firm Allied Dome and the candy maker Mars Inc. has said that B of A wants to wipe out perceptions that banks are conservative, slow to innovate, and poor at customer service.
"People think they know what banking is," Mr. Roselli said in a recent interview. "In a lot of respects we want to turn that on its head."
Barbara J. Desoer, the company's consumer products executive, said: "At our worst, what customers say about us is we're big and impersonal. We're trying to move the dial, so they think we're approachable and meet their needs."
AOL Time Warner, meanwhile, will become the first outside company to buy advertising on Bank of America's printed account statements, on its Web-enabled ATMs, and in its bank branches.
Though the companies would not give the exact terms, sources familiar with the contract said AOL has committed to spending at least $3 million in the first year.
Winning such a large advertising package with a national company like Bank of America may help validate the one-stop ad shopping strategy behind last year's marriage of the Internet giant America Online Inc. and the TV and publishing power Time Warner Inc.
An AOL spokesman, asked to compare the deal with others sold since the merger, would only say that the contract's size was significant.
The company has similar deals with the telecommunications equipment maker Nortel Networks Corp., Compaq Computer Corp., and Cendant Corp., a travel, real estate, and business services conglomerate.
Bob Pittman, co-chief operating officer at AOL Time Warner, said in a statement, "This multiplatform media and marketing alliance exemplifies the kind of client-tailored initiatives we can bring to smart advertisers like Bank of America, relying on the enormous depth and breadth of assets across AOL Time Warner's range of media properties, including our news and entertainment television networks."
Bank of America plans to advertise on a variety of AOL Time Warner media outlets, including the television network CNN, the magazines of Time Inc., and the Web sites of AOL and CNN. A spokeswoman for Bank of America said it would use the mix of advertising channels to promote its main campaign theme of ingenuity, as well as to sell specific services, such as asset management.
The banking company said it would be the sole sponsor of a feature on the "CNN Sports Tonight" show that will focus on an "Ingenious Shot of the Day." It also will sponsor a "Stroke of Ingenuity" feature during broadcasts of professional golf and tennis matches.
Bank of America spokeswoman Pam McQuitty said the contract is "an opportunity for us to build our brand, but there are also opportunities, given [AOL Time Warner's] different venues, in trying to broaden and deepen customer relationships and expand and expose customers to different financial products and services."
Alan Bergstrom, a marketing and branding expert and co-chairman of The Brand Consultancy in Atlanta, said Bank of America has put itself "on a course to create a national bank brand," and the AOL Time Warner deal "goes a long way to solidifying that."