Brand Slam Awards: Synovus focuses on strong video storytelling to drive new vision

‘So many banks speak about relationships, but we wanted to show how our people and the relationships they build are different.’

By Craig Colgan

Synovus had been “The Bank of Here” since 2014, but was looking for new ways to grow and wanted to pivot from a local-oriented, retail bank into a “sophisticated, relationship-driven B2B banking partner.” The resulting campaign, starring real businesses the bank has helped, earned Synovus a 2022 ABA Brand Slam Award for video.

The 2023 ABA Brand Slam Awards will be presented at the ABA Bank Marketing Conference, set for Sept. 27-29 in Austin, Texas. With several concurrent program tracks to choose from, there is an in-depth learning opportunity for every attendee. Find out more.
Its new tagline, “Get There,” became the “ultimate manifestation of what Synovus delivers to customers,” reads its entry.

The campaign features five short films “to tell this story across three vignettes that spotlight key businesses Synovus has supported.” The bank featured its films as part of a media partnership with Bally Sports for the Atlanta Braves baseball team as well as online. In addition to a new tagline, the video uses line-drawings over wide, open spaces to visualize the potential B2B customers see and the bank’s ability to help make that vision a reality. The brand campaign was designed to meet their B2B audience in the channels they use most.

The bank worked with award-winning director Brent Bonacorso and production house Koi Factory. Shot over three days around Atlanta, the production involved a mix of drone shots, still photography and camera tracking.

“We captured our characters in various open expanses, then used 3D mapping and illustrated overlays to create their unique business visions in line drawing format, then frame by frame animated them on to picture, resulting in a unique and striking visual treatment that was then used throughout the campaign as our brand motif,” the entry explains.

The bank reports that the campaign and shifted positioning resulted in a solid uptick in stock price, performance that sustained in the following quarters, driving better than expected growth across loans, adjusted revenue, operations leverage, PPRN and EPS. In its first months in market, the campaign had driven more than 500 landing page conversions, “creating a robust lead pipeline of the sophisticated, enterprise B2B customers that will drive future growth.”

Laura Hanley, Synovus executive director of marketing, answered our questions about the campaign:

In the entry description there is the focus on moving Synovus to “a sophisticated, relationship-driven B2B banking partner.” How did that drive your choices to make video such an important part of this campaign?

Synovus has built a strong reputation as “The Bank of Here.” Moving hearts and minds to see the bank as more than the community bank on the corner was going to take strong storytelling. So many banks speak about relationships, but we wanted to show how our people and the relationships they build are different. We knew that video would be a great way to capture the unique energy of our team and tell this new story of what the bank could do for our B2B customers and help us more quickly shift the brand perceptions.

In the videos, the line-drawings over wide, open spaces are very effective visuals. It connected the dreaming of the future to real potential and vision. Where did that idea come from?

As we began exploring how to visually represent how our bankers are inspired by our customers’ ‘there’ we needed a way to show those customer visions. The line was a perfect way to illustrate both the vision our customers have and our bankers’ ability to understand and be inspired by it. We tried several treatments—sketch, napkin doodles, and even architectural drawings. Ultimately the elegance and sophistication of the illustrated line was the right metaphor for our brand.

The videos focus on real businesses Synovus has helped?

Yes, and our campaign has continued in this vein. Synovus helps real businesses, and we believe that their stories are powerful and genuine. To show how inspired we are by our customers’ ambitions, we thought there would be no better choice than to spotlight their stories in our creative campaign and give them a voice in the storytelling. Additionally, we know that this energy and attention we bring to their business could drive their growth—and that’s something we’re always focused on for our customers.


About Author