Magazine article American Banker

Major Chase Ad Campaign Courting Small Business

Magazine article American Banker

Major Chase Ad Campaign Courting Small Business

Article excerpt

Chase Manhattan Corp. has joined a small but growing list of financial services companies that have launched aggressive television and print advertising campaigns targeted at entrepreneurs.

The $357 billion-asset banking company, which consultants said has a leading market share in the small-business segment in its home market in New York, said the campaign was designed to build on that share and to convey the message that Chase is committed to the small-business market.

A lot of businesses think they're too small for Chase to want them as customers, said Linda Soldatos, senior vice president and head of marketing for Chase's small-business unit. We've never reached out to the market this way.

The ads were created by New York agency Foote Cone & Belding and feature the familiar tagline the right relationship is everything. Chase would not disclose how much it is paying for the spots, except to say it is a multimillion-dollar effort. A broader brand image campaign also produced for Chase by Foote Cone and launched nationally earlier this year cost between $65 million and $85 million, observers said.

Consultants said few other banks have such a major television marketing effort, though many solicit small-business customers by direct mail. Exceptions include American Express Co., which has run a high-profile national television campaign aimed at small businesses for more than a year.

In addition, American National Bank, a subsidiary of Bank One Corp. in Chicago, ran a well-recognized campaign in its home market last year.

Consultants said they expect more banks to launch small-business marketing efforts. There is a lot more of a focus on small-business services, said Charles Wendel, a consultant at Financial Institutions Consulting in New York. …

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