The Arizona Bank

Posted:  August 26th, 2011 by:  MPitzer comments:  8
Arizona_Bank-featured

The Arizona Bank
Dailey & Associates, 1982

My very first job in advertising was at Dailey & Associates, Los Angeles as a Jr. Art Director in the Honda Power Products and ArmorAll group. We also handled The Arizona Bank, headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. My primary responsibility was doing weekly interest rate changes for Arizona newspapers.

As with all banks, they seem to grow by merger or acquisition. The Arizona Bank was no different and was acquired by Security Pacific in 1986 in order to enter Arizona with an established, state-wide network. Six years later, in 1992, Bank of America further strengthened its Arizona holdings when it completed its merger with Security Pacific Corp. of Los Angeles.

So I saw my first bank client go away because of one merger and then I saw my first checking account go away because of another merger. I’ve been with BofA ever since.

One of the things I loved about The Arizona Bank was its unique architectural accents and the investment they made in stained glass. The sample (on the left) is located in the Bank of America Glendale Arizona visitors center (formerly The Arizona Bank Center). This window is the center piece of the building and lines the staircase to the second and third stories. It is made of 25 separate stained glass windows honoring Native American culture. The second stained glass window (on the right) is in a former Arizona Bank building at Scottsdale Road and McDonald Avenue in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Below are two newspaper print ads from The Arizona Bank’s marketing campaign introduced in the early 70′s which coincided with the banks growth period and their investment in architectural accents within their new branches to help further the look and feel of the bank’s brand.

Back in the day, everyone smoked. So the easiest and most cost effective means of reach out with your brand was by placing your logo on matches. Because there where 20 matches to a book, that basically gave your brand twenty additional exposures during a day, if the average person smoked a pack of cigarettes a day.

The matchbook art was based on a series of 7 plates of paintings by Bruce Timeche of Hopi kachinas.  These paintings were based on the kachina dolls that were once in the in the Arizona Bank collection.  A few of the artist prints are shown below.

  1. The Antelope Kachina (Tsup Kachina)
  2. The Hummingbird Kachina (Do Tsa Kachina)
  3. Long-Hair (Ung ak-tsina Kachina)
  4. Maiden (Kachina Mana)
  5. Morning (De la vai Kachina)
  6. Mudhead (Go yem si Kachina)
  7. The Ogre Kachina (Tse veyo Kachina)

 

These are several of the prints made by Bruce Timeche commissioned by The Arizona Bank from their collection of Hopi kachinas. The wonderful part of building a brand, especially a brand like a bank, is the depth and alignment a company can create through their history and within the community they took root in.  By keeping true to their Arizonan roots, The Arizona Bank built a brand that still can be seen even though they have been erased through several corporate mergers.

I think it would be an impossible task today to find any bank advertising or marketing that resembles anything close to the brand they once were. Yes, “brands” evolve. They also get swallowed by the companies that buy their assets and accounts. Having had to execute these mergers in advertising form, it’s always presented to the public as “this merger” is a good thing as it will broaden the resources and offerings of this financial institution — maybe. More likely it bumped the stock of the share holders and did little if anything for the actual customers of the bank.

So when advertising agencies talk about “building your brand”, I have to ask, do they even know anything about your company? Your history? Or, are they just using advertising and marketing terminology that sounds good in your boardroom?

After 30 year in advertising, I would bank on the later.

 

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  • 8 Comments

    Posted By: Tammy Reed On: October 08, 2011 At: 4:42 am

    I have what appears to be an original 8×10 print on the Antelope Kachina. The signature in the middle of the print says Bruce Timanche and on the bottom of the print it reads Courtesy The Arizona Bank Kachina Collection. You appear to be quite knowledgable and I was hoping that you might know the approximate value of the print. I am interested in selling the print to a collector.
    Thank you for your time and attention,
    Tammy Reed

    Posted By: MPitzer On: October 11, 2011 At: 2:20 pm

    HI Tammy, I’m not an expert on Bruce’s work, although I can truly appreciate what he was able to bring to paper. From my research I have seen these prints for as low as $5 each and then in the hundreds of dollars if they are in complete sets. Framed pieces always go for more, but then most people dump the frames for their own style. I would Google “Kachina prints, Bruce Timanche, galleries”, something like this to see if any galleries are selling his work. I hope this helps, and best of luck to you.

    Posted By: Wai On: October 11, 2011 At: 9:51 pm

    I really liked reading your post!. Quallity content. With such a valuable blog i believe you deserve to be ranking even higher in the search engines :)

    Posted By: Glennis On: December 04, 2011 At: 5:00 am

    I would like to tell others about your post so I went ahead and posted a bookmark on Digg.com using the name of your blog and the post title. I hope that’s OK. My email list would like to read this post as well I’m sure.

    Posted By: Michael On: March 26, 2012 At: 4:53 am

    Very nice post. Once upon a time, very long ago, The Arizona Bank was actually a pretty classy organization. Then they decided they wanted to become a big, centralized bank, and well, you know the rest. Not to be picky, but the window in the right picture is actually at Scottsdale and Lincoln, on the NE corner.

    Posted By: Danial On: June 10, 2012 At: 4:08 am

    Too be honest with you, your financial work reminds me of People’s Choice Credit Union in Australia which gave commuters a choice of music while they waited at sheltered stops. Like using five different headphone sockets were fitted in various bus and tram shelters, and people can choose between country, rock, classical, pop or RnB by local artists. That was pretty cool.

    Posted By: Louis On: June 11, 2012 At: 2:27 pm

    I’m not sure if you saw this about when ING hired Naya Marie to cover Madonna’s “Material Girl.” The one-woman performance is something you have to see. She does the bass line, beatbox, echo, background vocals and lead all by herself. It’s really amazing, and incredibly well produced. The message: It’s a material world out there, so save your money. It sounded very much like your approach to financial marketing. Did you work on the project?

    Posted By: MPitzer On: July 16, 2012 At: 4:52 am

    While financial marketing campaign is one of the areas I’ve spent many years in and I believe the campaign you mentioned is a very nice advertising approach, I’m sorry to say no I didn’t work on that one.

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