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Bank of America to introduce "Bank of Opportunity" ad campaign

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In what will be its largest advertising push to date, Bank of America acknowledged plans for its new "Bank of Opportunity" ad campaign.  Bank of America plans to debut the slogan during the ABC broadcast of the Academy Awards on Feb. 25, 2007.

Compare Low Interest Credit CardsWith the new "Bank of Opportunity" tag line, Bank of America is replacing its four-year old "Higher Standards" slogan.  The latest campaign reflects the change Bank of America has undergone since its last major marketing campaign launched in 2003, when it was a large regional player, to its place today, where BofA is the leading retail bank by deposits and number of branches as well as the No. 1 U.S. credit card issuer.

The new ad campaign comes as Bank of America takes its initial steps in the direction of becoming more of a national advertiser.  In an effort to catch up with bigger-spending rivals like Citi and Chase, BofA will start to advertise regularly on prime-time television, as opposed to the cable spots it formerly ran in targeted markets.  The bank's new ads are also slated to appear in newspapers, magazines, on billboards and online.

Bank of America said it plans to spend as much as, or more than, its main rivals on advertising in 2007.  BofA also intends to spend 30 percent more than in 2006, primarily on prime-time TV.  While the bank plans to keep its overall marketing budget unchanged at $2.3 billion, it will make up the difference by spending significantly less on direct-mail credit card solicitations, which are now sold mainly via its 5,700 branches.

With BofA limited by a regulatory cap that blocks any U.S. bank from a merger that would give it over 10 percent of the country's total bank deposits, the ad campaign highlights Bank of America's need to get additional business out of existing customers.  The credit card issuer must prod existing customers with checking accounts to sign up for credit cards, for example, while also adding new customers.

In this environment, BofA views its new "Bank of Opportunity" marketing campaign as a chance to bolster its image in regards to customer service.  The bank's chairman and chief executive explained in an interview that BofA had begun to view the old "Higher Standards" tag line as being more about how the bank did things than about its customers.

As a result, some of Bank of America's new ads promote unique programs it has introduced, such as its "Keep the Change" program that rounds up debit card purchases to the nearest dollar -- with the bank depositing the difference into the customer's savings account.

Published: March 9, 2007



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