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Bank Of America Will Spell It Out For Customers From Now On

Bank of America is spending $40 million to get the message out that from here forward, "simple, clear, and direct" banking will be the order of the day. For example, the mobile alerts feature allows you to do useful things like check your account balance or receive alerts each time a new lawsuit is filed against BAC or there is another casualty in senior management. The bank has gone to great lengths to identify the subtle changes in consumer behavior and is seeking to take a leadership role in the 'simpler is better' era.

Jim Buchanan, BofA's svp-consumer marketing, said the insight for the campaign came from research that showed that consumers were seeking "clarity" in today's turbulent market. Consumers, he said, were shifting away from "the big national stories around TARP [the government's Troubled Asset Relief bank bailout program] and [stories about bank] nationalization, and really [focusing on] how our products and services can help them get through this difficult economy and back on their feet, and in many places, stay in their homes."

It sounds like a lot of time and effort has gone into this makeover. So let's hear what you get for a $40 million facelift.

But BofA spots are rather generic--educational, almost--in showing consumers how to use its products. "It reminded me of when [banks] first tried to get consumers to use ATMs back in the day or [online] banking," (Scott Morgan, who heads up Brunner, a Pittsburgh, Pa., advertising agency that has the American Bankers Association among its clients) said, adding that "any of the big boys"--Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and others--could just as easily slap their names on the ads.

Bank of America Pitches 'Simple, Clear' Banking [Brandweek]