When Bank of America broke its "Bank of Opportunity" brand campaign in March, both print and broadcast ads employed its flag-like symbol as a window into opportunity. In a print execution that ran in mass market magazines like Newsweek, Bank of America's flag-like symbol was die cut into the opening page of a multi-page spread, providing a peek at the opportunity awaiting the reader who turned the page.
Citi's first new brand campaign in a decade will incorporate the blue arc that replaced the red umbrella symbol that Citi sold to the Travelers, its original owner, when the global banking giant sought to better unify its business entities and decided the umbrella no longer worked.
Citi spent $334 million in the U.S. last year to promote Citibank--while its No. 1 rival, Bank of America, spent $232 million on measured media as tracked by TNS Media Intelligence.
In addition to more cohesive messaging, Citi's new brand campaign is expected to help alter the way consumers interact with the bank after years of acquisitions led first by legendary former chairman Sandy Weill and in more recent years by his successor, Charles Prince. The current chairman and CEO, under pressure by shareholders and Wall Street alike to streamline operations, just last month detailed a major restructuring which will result in the loss of 17,000 jobs.
The umbrella stood for protection whereas the blue arc symbolizes a connection. As such, some of Citi's new ads will feature the mark in some three-dimensional fashion to represent a connection between Citibank customers and financial goals.
What "it" is remains to be seen.
Citi officials would not comment yesterday on the new campaign although they did issue a press release in response to the publication of a story in Saturday's New York Times that reported the "Let's Get It Done" ads would break as early as this weekend. In the release, Citi confirmed that a new campaign would launch this month, created not by Fallon of Minneapolis, Citi's lead creative agency for years, but by the Publicis Groupe.
"Over the past seven years we have enjoyed many successes working with Fallon, a Publicis Groupe company, on our consumer advertising campaigns, and Fallon will continue to provide support in select international markets," says Lisa Caputo, chief marketing and community relations officer for Citi's Global Consumer Group.
"Publicis will help propel our Citi brand identity messaging and deliver strategic advertising support for our outstanding array of financial products and services." The themes from that campaign will be integrated into Citi's advertising and marketing programs for its Global Consumer Group's products and services, she says.