Celebrating their banking client’s Western state of mind, San Francisco-based agency Heat recently completed the latest spot in “Go West,” an ongoing advertising campaign for Bank of the West. The campaign showcases real bank customer stories that reflect their passions and entrepreneurial spirit, and in turn demonstrates Bank of the West’s relationship-centric approach to banking, as well as their deep industry expertise.
“What sets Bank of the West apart from other banks is our customers – they embody the optimistic spirit of the West, and they are at the core of everything we do,” said Andrew Rosen, Bank of the West Chief Marketing Officer. “So what better way to convey our bank’s story than through this Go West campaign, in which our customers tell their unique stories of success.”
Following Heat’s selection as Bank of the West’s AOR, the agency selected a documentary film crew to rent a van, and road trip throughout the West to film breathtaking scenery and interview the cast of bank customers in-depth and over a series of days. The resulting effort includes the lead TV spot launched last year called "Right Now," which embodies the commercial's catchphrase, "There's a spirit in the West that drives people to do more." The campaign is running in key markets and is the bank’s first brand-focused TV campaign in five years.
Heat has taken the Bank of the West campaign in a fresh, authentic direction - affirming the bank’s brand identity in a manner completely distinct from its competitors. Heat founder/executive creative director Steve Stone comments, “The documentary film aesthetic matches the strategy of being honest and authentic allowing these amazing true customer stories to come through. So much work in this category looks the same. We worked hard to give it an iconic look capturing contemporary Western imagery.”
From a biodynamic winery in Oregon to the largest airline painting company in the world to a handcrafted salami company that’s been around for over 100 years, these stories of real customers show that “Go West” is more than just the left side of the map. The most recent iteration of the campaign, a :30 spot featuring Bank of The West Wealth Management customer Kjell Qvale, was shown March 9 in key markets across the Midwest and Western regions of the United States.
The effort also includes longer documentary versions of each :30 bank customer story featured on Facebook and the bank’s campaign Microsite. “Our strategy to relaunch the Bank of the West brand included recommendations that the advertising represent the limitless opportunity and energy of the West,” comments Heat President John Elder. “From a purely aesthetic branding standpoint, we re-envisioned everything from Bank of the West’s colors to its typeface. Ultimately Bank of the West is about giving its customer a different banking experience, and the advertising reveals that.”
As Agency of Record for Bank of The West (and a long-time bank customer itself), Heat is driving the bank's creative work, including sponsorships and online, print, broadcast, out-of-home and experiential advertising. Heat also collaborated on the development of key social media activities included in the advertising effort.
Heat also partnered with the bank to execute a social media strategy to engage new banking customers and extend the bank’s award-winning customer service to their growing online community. One promotion (that ran last year) heavily supported through social media was Bank of the West’s $100 offer to new customers opening a free checking account. Heat developed a Facebook application for customers to answer the question "What would you do with $100?," and the top winning ideas awarded participants $100 to bring their idea to life. Through this and other social campaigns, Heat has helped develop an online community that serves as a platform for feedback and increased interaction between Bank of the West and its customers.
Client: Bank of the West Wealth Management
TV Production Credits
Chairman / Creative Director: Steve Stone
ACD / Art Director: Mark Lawson
ACD/Copywriter: Jeff Guenther
Copywriter: James Duffy
Art Director: Nichole Berger
Executive Content Producer: Brian Coate
Content Producer: Anna Askew
Group Account Director: Teri Fildey
Account Director: Mike McGarry
Account Manager: Megan Robershotte
Production Company: The Academy, Seattle
Executive Producer: Harry Calbom
Director/Editor/Director of Photography: David Holm
Additional Camera Operator: Austin Wilson
After Effects Artist: David Holm, Justin Henning
Logo Treatment: Michael Holm
Music: Pico Sound, Seattle
Composer: Ellis Hawes
Recording Studio: One Union Recording
Engineer: Joaby Deal