TD Banknorth Breaks First Brand Campaign Amid Job Losses

Just as TD Banknorth announced plans to close 24 branches and lay off hundreds of workers throughout the Northeast, its first brand campaign promoting "hassle free" banking broke this week.

TD Banknorth in Portland, Maine, is the U.S. retail banking unit of Canada's Toronto-Dominion Bank. It has said it intends to close retail branches in select markets in the Northeast, resulting in the loss of some 400 jobs.

The new brand campaign includes a 30-second spot that features the Supertramp's classic rock hit of 1979 "Goodbye Stranger" and three 15-second spots. Each spot highlights TD Banknorth's "hassle free" product offerings, which include no ATM fees in some markets, extended branch hours and lower banking fees.

"It was clear that it was time to create advertising that elevates the value of the TD Banknorth brand," said Thomas J. Dyck, EVP/director of marketing for TD Banknorth. "Our customers see banking as one thing to do among many, and we need to show them that we are respectful of their needs and their expectations. To this end, this advertising highlights the convenience, speed and flexibility that banking with TD Banknorth offers."



TV spots that broke earlier this week will air in major New England and New York markets, including Boston; Hartford, Conn.; Portland, Bangor and Presque Isle, Maine; Burlington, Vt.; Springfield, Mass., and Albany, N.Y. The campaign was created by the Via Group of Portland.

TD Banknorth expects to eliminate jobs in the next several months, and shut most of the branches in the third quarter. It ended 2006 with about 8,700 employees and operates more than 600 branches in eight northeast U.S. states.

Jeff Nathanson, a TD Banknorth spokesman, told Reuters the "the vast majority" of branch closures will be former Hudson United Bancorp branches in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. TD Banknorth paid $1.9 billion for Hudson United in January 2006. A year later it bought Interchange Financial Services Corp. in Saddle Brook, N.J., for $481 million.

TD Banknorth CEO Bharat Masrani said the cuts are "necessary in response to the current operating environment," and will help lower operating costs by 5% to 8% by 2008. TD Banknorth has struggled in recent quarters from slowing loan growth, stiff competition for loans and deposits, and narrowed lending margins.

Next story loading loading..