SunTrust Banks Makes Its Super Bowl Debut to Spark Financial Confidence

Hits on the 'pulse of the nation'

Headshot of Lauren Johnson

As the U.S. economy continues to improve, SunTrust Banks plans to run its first national 30-second commercial during Super Bowl 50.

According to CMO Susan Somersille Johnson, the brand decided to go all in on the Big Game this year because Americans are starting to recover their financial footing from the decade-long recession. She cited the Federal Reserve's recent decision to hike interest rates for the first time in 10 years as proof that Americans are optimistic about their finances.

"Timing is everything," she said. "With the work that we've been doing, we want to help. It's a very optimistic tone because research shows that anyone can achieve [financial confidence] regardless of income level. It hits on the real pulse of the nation right now."

The concept of the ad focuses on giving people money-related "tools, tips, ideas and conversation starters." "We've spent a lot of time going around the country capturing Americans in this time," added Scott Goodson, founder and chairman of StrawberryFrog, the New York agency behind the campaign.

MJZ Productions' Dante Ariola is the director, whose work includes 2013's Kate Upton Super Bowl ad for Mercedes and 2011's "Black Beetle" for Volkswagen.

The commercial will air in the last slot before the two-minute warning of the fourth quarter, with a longer 60-second ad running online. The brand will also post to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to build awareness for the ad.

"We see it as part of a package—Super Bowl can be an extremely effective, if not the most effective, platform when you wrap it around digital and social," Somersille Johnson said.

@laurenjohnson Lauren Johnson is a senior technology editor for Adweek, where she specializes in covering mobile, social platforms and emerging tech.