I was speaking at a business conference recently and someone asked me about my favorite LGBTQ ad campaign for this year.  It was easy for me as I already had a favorite and that was the campaign currently running for First Republic Bank.  The interesting thing was that I was at a mainstream conference, yet almost everyone knew about First Republic Bank, the campaign I mentioned.  I was surprised because I had only heard of First Republic Bank when they started in LGBTQ media, but I quickly realized the reason the audience all knew about this ad campaign was that it was running all over the place at the same time.

I work in an LGBTQ advertising bubble, but it is also my job to read a lot of mainstream media and I started to notice the First Republic campaign everywhere, which is what advertising is all about – repetition.

Do the First Republic Bank ads have viral worthy creative?  Not really, but they are visually consistent no matter where they run and it has uniform positioning, it’s simple, it has repeated taglines, unique selling points and of course the whole campaign flows no matter where you see it.  To me this campaign is what Advertising 101 is all about, and you know what, it works.

The LGBTQ imagery is on par with what you would expect in 2022- it has creative that is tailored to speak to multiple audiences; all with the same look and feel.  The reason I know it works is that instead of looking for the ad everywhere I am doing exactly what they want, I’m looking for a branch office to open a new bank account.  I have a need and I want my funds placed with companies that are not only asking for my business but showing me and the rest of the world where they stand. First Republic’s ads are multicultural, inclusive, and speaking uniquely to me and in my own local LGBTQ media which of course helps “our” community by spending money with “our” community. 

First Republic Bank’s slogan is “It’s a privilege to serve you” and in a world where so many people feel taken for granted the slogan speaks to me as well as being universal.

So, sometimes the best campaigns are not “over the top,” quirky, glamorous, or shocking.  Rather, they can convey a simple message that is universal to everyone.  Yes, there are plenty of those – but of all those campaigns, very few show up physically in the “community” they are trying to reach, no matter which one that may be, and that is what makes this campaign noteworthy and my favorite for 2022. 

About the Author

Todd Evans is President and CEO of Rivendell Media-America’s leading LGBTQ media placement firm- a unique media company that was founded in 1979 and represents 95% of all LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS media in the United States and Canada. Rivendell Media serves as the national advertising representative for over 200 gay, lesbian and HIV/AIDS newspapers, magazines and entertainment guides their websites and standalone digital properties. After working for the company and then taking over in 1994, he has worked on almost every major LGBT media campaign as well as every DTC campaign in the HIV/AIDS market since the FDA allowed them. That experience along with his knowledge of the media provide unique qualifications on what has worked and what is necessary to reach and speak to these audiences. Todd Evans is also a silent partner of Q Syndicate, the leading content provider for gay media and is also publisher of Press Pass Q, the industry newsletter for the gay and lesbian press professional. Todd Evans graduated from Villanova University with a bachelor in Political Science. He currently resides in Mountainside, New Jersey. He can be reached at todd@rivendellmedia.com or 908-232-2021 ext 210.

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