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Profile: Banking on a big promotion

Mar 10, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Sheryl Hudson used to live in New York, so, as media director of the full-service Seattle-based Sedgewick Rd. agency, planning the launch of an out-of-town brand such as Washington Mutual into the Big Apple was not as daunting as it first appeared.
New York is just one part, if admittedly the largest, of Washington Mutual’s national rollout of its brand. Ms. Hudson’s media plan led with a television teaser campaign that set up the idea of WaMu as a banking revolution, “an enjoyable banking experience.” There are no glass windows or barriers at WaMu, and there is a kids area, among other innovations.
For the relatively fresh (for banking) television campaign proper, Ms. Hudson chose a commuter-oriented strategy blanketing the city’s five boroughs and northern New Jersey, heavier on the mornings shows, and then during evening news and other peak destination shows such as “Friends.”
“We were starting [at] zero with, `Washington who?”’ Ms. Hudson admitted. “The campaign was really about understanding consumers, where they work and live, and where the branches are. We had to make sure you could not miss us.”