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'Connections' ad campaign will present a humbler Bank of America

April 05, 2013|By E. Scott Reckard
  • Brian Moynihan, chief executive of Bank of America, got a substantial raise in 2011.
Brian Moynihan, chief executive of Bank of America, got a substantial raise… (Gerry Broome / Associated…)

Can the ultimate too-big-to-fail bank persuade customers that it is humble?

A new Bank of America Corp. ad campaign is taking on that task, with the tag line "Life's Better When We're Connected" replacing “Bank of Opportunity.”

“We need to focus on customer needs first and we know our place,” Meredith Verdone, BofA's head of brand marketing, told Ad Age, which reported Friday that the campaign would roll out during the NCAA basketball championships this weekend.

“We know we're not the center of your life,” Verdone said, “but we will connect you to what it is."

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BofA has had some reputational rough sledding since the financial crisis, when the Charlotte, N.C., giant was one of just two big banks (the other was Citigroup Inc.) to require two rounds of government bailout money.

Having paid back its $45 billion from taxpayers, it has continued to endure a slew of grim headlines, many of them reporting enormous legal settlements over dud home loans written by Countrywide Financial Corp., the super-aggressive Calabasas lender that BofA acquired in 2008. 

Chief Executive Brian Moynihan, who has been trying to downsize BofA into an institution more focused on its customers' needs, persuaded investors last year that the bank was on more solid financial ground. The bank's stock rose 109%, the biggest gain for 2012 of any stock in the Dow Jones industrial average.

But will the new ads and ATMs with video links to live tellers start changing a tarnished image?

Perhaps there's nowhere to go but up for BofA, which recently advanced to the quarterfinals in a non-sporting competition: the Worst Company in America award. 

Now that's humbling.


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