The human stories behind such bedrock banking offerings as savings accounts, debit cards and small business services are explored in a new campaign for North Carolina-based First Citizens Bank. Bully Pictures’ Jeffrey DeChausse directed three spots themed “Forever First” for new Michigan agency Factory and the 115-year-old bank, which is making its first major advertising push in more than a decade.
Each spot weaves an emotional tale focusing on how First Citizens Bank helps its customers. First Love follows a boy as he grows to adulthood while saving money to achieve his dream. In A Dog’s Life, a woman is inspired to build her own business. Together shows how an innovative new family debit card helps a single father stay connected with his teenage daughter.
“The commercials are about financial services and we are making those services relevant by connecting them to familiar human stories,” says DeChausse. “The agency’s scripts provided a beautiful opportunity to do something great.”
DeChausse aimed for naturalism and directed the spots with an eye for realism. “We want viewers to get lost in the human element,” he explains. “I wanted to be sure that the actors really understood the stories, their themes and meanings, so that they weren’t just performing roles.”
Mark Lantz, founder and executive creative director of Factory, says that the passion and energy DeChausse brought to the project was infectious. “He has great empathy for the characters he portrays and good storytelling chops,” Lantz observes. “We wanted this campaign to strike a resonant human chord, and Jeffrey nailed it.”