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Pathmatics Blog
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Brand of the Week: Bank of America

March 31 2017 by Jordan Kramer
When you come across an ad online with the title “How to Start Difficult Conversations About Cognitive Decline,” you may not immediately think of banking.
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For Bank of America, however, their recent content strategy has progressed to highly coordinated native creatives and landing pages with how-to advice centered around the theme of family values:
  • How to bring children into the family business
  • How to talk to a loved one about financial management
  • How to comfortably retire with a financial advisor
The banking behemoth is hitting home with their messaging.

Across desktop, mobile, and video (including desktop and mobile), Bank of America released 123 creatives from February 26th, 2017 to March 27th.
Compare that to their content campaigns where BofA ran just over 700 unique native creatives during the same timeframe, targeting NBC News as their top site. 
By impression frequency, Bank of America was in the tail end of the top twenty-five content advertisers for the Financial Services category, following behind Citigroup, Inc and just edging out Wells Fargo.
Looking at competitor JP Morgan Chase & Company, their top content creatives over the last thirty days feature LeBron James with “See What Business LeBron Is Starting Now” in bold underneath and a young couple strolling in a vineyard with the messaging, “8 Experiences to Give Instead of Things.” Wells Fargo is targeting couples on their way to the alter with creatives centered around issues and questions about debt to discuss before marriage.
Bank of America, on the other hand, dialed back messaging to more traditional how-to copy, and is directing consumers to video focused landing pages. The creative below shows a retired couple with what one can assume is their grandchildren, enjoying a nice day on a patio. The creative states “Retiring is Beautiful, Thanks to a Financial Advisor - Watch” and links to this landing page with the title, “When the Ultimate Goal is Family.” 
Screenshot 2017-03-29 15.36.09.png
This carefully crafted campaign conveys a sense of ease to the consumer that they too could live the retired life of their dreams. The specific creative ran on Politico on March 5th, but Bank of America has also been testing alternate messaging on other sites like AOL:
In 2016, AOL was the top content site for Bank of America and Outbrain was the brand’s top native partner serving 56% of BofA’s impressions. In the last thirty days, data shows that Taboola has worked their way into being the banking company’s top partner, serving up nearly 100% of the brand’s current impressions. NBC News was responsible for 22% of Bank of America’s impressions in the last month, and the site uses Taboola as their native ad network. This could be the reason why BofA shifted their spend to Taboola, over Outbrain rather than splitting their budget between the two.
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Image Source: Unsplash 

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About Author
Jordan Kramer

An out-of-the-box thinker with a love for disruptive ideas, Jordan's background spans PR and events for the wedding & hospitality industry in Los Angeles and Scottsdale and also launching one of America's most unique food trucks. She jumped from the food start-up scene to the tech start-up scene in 2013 to join one of the most unique companies in ad tech. Jordan is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

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