A regional bank invites naysayers to meet the can’t jar.

Washington Trust Bank

Throughout COVID’s height in 2020, Washington Trust Bank (WTB) played a key role helping its business and retail customers adapt, find funding and flourish. Their model of curated, hands-on service was built for this. But as 2020 came to a close, the bank understood that more people could benefit from its unique style of personalized service and funding. So, as the agency of record, Duft Watterson was asked to create a multi-channel campaign to raise awareness, drive conversation and, oh, do it in a way that doesn’t look and sound like all other bank advertising.

We locked arms with WTB’s marketing team to explore concepts and quickly realized that even though customers still wanted help dealing with COVID, they were also ready to smile and dream big again. This was perfect because it truly aligned with what Washington Trust Bank does best: deliver one-on-one service that liberates their customers’ can-do spirit.

So, after a few concepting sessions, DW landed on the idea of the “Can’t Jar,” which launched in Q4 2020 and is still running. Simply put, the jar became a metaphor for where naysayer comments and attitudes go, inspired by the classic “swear jar.” This allowed us to create three TV spots—supported by digital, social and print ads—that showed people pondering business growth, home remodelings, new opportunities, etc. Each spot featured a naysayer friend or family member who wraps the action by putting a dollar in the “Can’t Jar.”

And it worked. Shortly after the campaign’s launch, new website visits were up 29%, sessions went up 29%, location page views grew 14% and direct traffic from advertising increased by 26%. On top of this, social buzz increased as did new account activity and inquiries. Excitement for the “Can’t Jar” was so strong, that WTB has even given a printed jar to all its employees and now gives them to customers at their retail locations. DW is currently adding new social videos, digital ads, etc. to extend the campaign’s run through 2021.

blue billboard with blue sky background washington trust bank
white skater girl dropping into a half pipe
rancher newspaper ad
laptop computer with green background
white man in blue polo in front of cardboard boxes

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