Frost Bank’s Luscious Brand-Building Ads

“Frost Bank understands the value of focusing advertising communications on the brand.”
– Pam Thomas, CMO
Frost Bank

“Frost Bank understands the value of focusing advertising communications on the brand.”

That’s how Pam Thomas, Chief Marketing Officer at Frost Bank, put it in an interview with The Financial Brand about the bank’s latest brand campaign.

The campaign, launched back in April this year, consists of magazine and newspaper ads, online advertising, outdoor and direct mail.

“It is imperative for Frost to stay at a high level and communicate relevant brand messages in a visually compelling way to current and potential customers,” Thomas added.

“The competitive environment in the financial category in Texas is cluttered,” Thomas explained. “We have to be different to stand out.”

Most financial institutions aren’t comfortable using marketing dollars for ads that don’t push a product or contain a rate, which may suggest a separate budget is needed specifically for brand-building initiatives.

Bottom Line: It takes courage to run brand ads.

Frost has been running brand ads for over 10 years, focusing a majority of the bank’s media budget on branding. This strategy, Thomas says, shows the bank is “acting in our customers’ best interests, not pushing products.”

Key Question: When was the last time your organization ran a pure brand ad (i.e., an ad without a rate or product offer)?

The primary purpose of the new campaign is to increase awareness of Frost’s full range of services, including banking, investments and insurance. Frost has even made an interesting choice to opt for a utilitarian tagline in lieu of a more traditional rallying cry (e.g., “Where service comes 1st!”).

By putting “banking, investments and insurance” everywhere the Frost logo goes, the bank ensures its product awareness message is getting out there.

Frost’s previous campaign, which ran for three years, is particularly stunning and distinct, especially for the financial industry:

The look of new campaign may be visually different, but there is a similar vibe shared with the old campaign. This undercurrent of consistency is good branding. Frost knows what it wants to say and maintains a consistent “brand voice,” even from one campaign to the other – a voice that is bold, proud, confident and distinctively Texan.

The timing of Frost’s latest campaign makes it stand out even more. In these dark financial times where budgets and staff are being slashed, who else is out there with brand ads (megabanks not withstanding)?

“We have a great story to tell right now in this time of economic anxiety,” Thomas explained.

Tip of the Hat: To both Frost Bank and their agency, McGarrah-Jessee, for their help and cooperation with the writing of this article.

Further Reading: Frost Bank Momentum Account Combines Reward Checking and Personal Financial Management

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