Dime Savings Bank launched a television campaign this week in New York to attract customers to its investment subsidiary, Dime Securities Inc.
Dime, a $20.1 billion-asset thrift, is no stranger to aggressive advertising. It already has five spots on the air that were directed by brothers Ethan and Joel Coen, who are known for their avant-garde movies, which include "Raising Arizona" and "Fargo."
The ads for Dime Securities created by Christy MacDougall Mitchell, New York, feature a financial consultant from one of its Long Island branches, Barbara Donohue, and testimonials from four customers.
Roughly 20% of the 750,000 households that use Dime for banking services also have accounts with the securities subsidiary, according to David J. Totaro, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Dime Savings. Dime Securities has $2.6 billion of assets under administration.
"We had reached a substantial client base. We decided we could now reach outside prospects," Mr. Totaro said.
The direct response commercials, so-called because an "800" number is displayed for the entire 60 seconds, will run for four weeks on network time that had been canceled or was not picked up by other advertisers. They carry the slogan "mutual respect," an idea Mr. Totaro said is furthered by the unscripted testimonials.
"It's more credible to have real people talk about the service, advice and counsel they receive from the company than it is to have paid actors," he said.