Magazine article American Banker

People's of Conn. Aims Ads at Checking Customers

Magazine article American Banker

People's of Conn. Aims Ads at Checking Customers

Article excerpt

After a year spent building up its investment offerings, People's Bank of Bridgeport, Conn., has begun to market them.

On Connecticut stations airing Sunday's Academy Awards show, the $14 billion-asset thrift premiered a series of television spots on themes such as retirement planning and college savings. In January, People's began running print and radio ads with the same themes, and in early April it plans to put up 10 billboards around Connecticut.

This campaign is the thrift's first major effort to promote investment services. "We're really trying to build People's as a provider of financial services solutions," said Cynthia P. Belak, the thrift's first vice president of marketing. The ads are "very simple and needs-based, as opposed to a product push," she said.

Ms. Belak would not say how much People's is spending on the campaign.

The ads are designed to appeal to People's own retail banking clientele -- from young people just starting out to affluent longtime customers, Ms. Belak said. "We realized there are relationships out there we haven't been able to secure," she said.

People's Securities Inc., the thrift's investment subsidiary, has about 40,000 customers, compared with the parent's 360,000 checking account customers, a spokesman said, and most investment customers also have People's checking accounts.

Ms. Belak said that one difficulty in selling investment products through banking institutions is that customers are often unaware the products are available. In surveys by Russell Marketing Research, roughly half of Connecticut residents said they do not associate banks with investing. …

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