RealTime IT News

Bank of America, AOL Time Warner Strike Ad Deal

Bank of America and AOL Time Warner each will promote the services of the other through a new marketing agreement.

Through the multi-year agreement, Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America will receive ads on AOL Time Warner's America Online service and Web properties, in Time Inc. magazines, and on AOL-owned Turner television properties.

The deal also calls for specific, exclusive sponsorships of elements of CNN and CNNfn/CNN Money -- for instance, Bank of America will sponsor the "Ingenious Shot of the Day" on CNN Sports Tonight and the "Stroke of Ingenuity" during PGA golf and Wimbledon tennis, in keeping with the company's current "Ingenuity" branding campaign.

"We're delighted to enter into this new alliance with AOL Time Warner which gives us new, breakthrough ways to build our brand and reach our target households," said Barbara Desoer, of Bank of America's consumer products unit. "This agreement marks the first time another company has launched advertising of this scale on Bank of America channels. I see this agreement as a testimony to the strength, reach and reputation of the Bank of America franchise and brand."

Bank of America is currently in the middle of a big consumer push. Titled "Why Not Bank Your Own Way?", the campaign seeks to encourage consumers to sign up for checking, savings and online accounts with promises of straight talk, security and convenience.

In return for its inventory and sponsorship opportunities, New York-based AOL will receive ads on Bank of America's ATMs, bills and statements, and through in-bank signage and on telephone banking.

While in-bank signage is fairly common (albeit generally limited to affiliated financial services firms), ATM and on-statement advertising are still relatively new, with only a few players experimenting in the space. TenSquare serves ads to ATMs and Internet-enabled gas pumps, while XpenseWise is experimenting with targeting and packaging ads in with offline and online bank statements. But, by and large, the areas are untapped by the major media outlets, and ads on ATMs and in statements are generally included as an afterthought in banks' strategic agreement with partners (like a payment company, such as Visa or American Express).

"This multi-platform media and marketing alliance exemplifies the kind of client-tailored initiatives we can bring to smart advertisers like Bank of America, relying on the enormous depth and breadth of assets across AOL Time Warner's range of media properties, including our news and entertainment television networks," said AOL Time Warner co-chief operating officer Bob Pittman. "We're pleased to play a key role in helping Bank of America improve the efficiency and effectiveness of building and maintaining their consumer relationships, while employing their strong customer connections to extend AOL Time Warner's brands and reach new audiences."