Section 4 - Case Studies
Tecate Campaign
Paragon Cable
House Foods

Lincoln Mercury
El Pollo Loco
La Opinion
Dinero Seguro
Harris Bank

Harris Bank Campaign
"Avanza Con Usted"

Harris Bank, one of the 3 largest retail banks in Chicago with 140 branches, wanted to expand its concept of community banking to aggressively meet the needs of a large and growing Hispanic population. Leveraging its strategic alliance with Grupo Financiero Bancomer, the Bank sought to better understand the needs of this market.

With Cultural Access Worldwide, the Bank conducted a 600 person quantitative consumer research study to learn about buying behavior, product preferences, etc. Several focus groups were held to refine our learnings. Key findings were:

  • Spanish capabilities are critical in all areas of customer service delivery
  • Convenience of access is imperative
  • Consumer perceptions of customer service among most financial institutions are low
  • Usage of many products under indexes the general market, suggesting opportunities for growth

The Challenge
Having had a relatively small historical presence in the community, Harris Bank had low brand awareness, as evidenced by the research. Moreover, there was little recognition of the Bank’s formal logo mark, a signature of a lion logo with accompanying words. Also, Hubert, a cartoon drawing of a lion, was not known, though when a costumed mascot of the lion engaged with Hispanic families and children he was well received.

Campaign Objectives

  • Build Harris brand awareness in the Hispanic market throughout Chicagoland
  • Build awareness of lion icon and Hubert
  • Demonstrate commitment to the community through grassroots, event-driven, participation
  • Support branch openings through targeted direct marketing and promotional offers
  • Increase utilization of the bilingual call center

Build a campaign that positions Harris as the financial institution of choice within the Hispanic community by forging an emotional connection with the Hispanic consumer. Lazos Latinos, Vickers & Benson and Comadres assisted the Bank in developing the strategic thrust of the campaign.




A multifaceted campaign was employed to meet the above objectives. Creative elements were developed by Comadres, Inc.

  • The Bank chose to focus on the aspirational nature of the Hispanic consumer. Thus a tagline was developed that would better connect with the Hispanic consumer (distinct from the Bank’s English language tagline - "Helping You Make Better Choices"). This tagline is "Harris Bank Avanza Con Usted" "Harris Bank Progresses With You", which conveys that Harris is progressing and growing with the Hispanic community.
  • A graphic icon was created to support the tagline and generate visual interest
  • A radio and print campaign was executed. The radio spot introduced the "Avanza Con Usted" theme, and this was carried through to the creative of the print ads. The print ads, which ran on consecutive right-hand side pages in newspapers, were also intended to drive home the logo of the Bank as a lion. In both radio and print, 1-888-LEON-605 was promoted.
  • In-branch merchandising posters were created, including a "Hablamos Español" to inform customers that a particular branch has Spanish language capabilities – using Hubert the Harris lion (Hubert gives the Bank a friendly, approachable feel).
  • Bilingual direct mail pieces were geographically targeted, and included Hubert and promotional offers designed to generate in-branch traffic at new branches.
  • Outdoor advertising was selectively placed to support the branch openings.
  • A new wire transfer product was introduced and photos were used for the brochure to establish an emotional connection between Harris and its customers who need to send money to relatives and friends in Mexico. The radio spot was adapted to incorporate a "no transfer fee" promotion, and a direct mail piece was developed.
  • Harris developed a community outreach plan that included participation at numerous events and parades, in addition to strengthening ties to community-based Hispanic organizations.
  • PR was utilized to increase awareness of Harris in the community, support branch openings, and to develop relations with Hispanic media. Meetings were held with editors of the largest Spanish-language newspapers, as well as those of local newspapers in particular communities.

Campaign Results
The Bank initiated an aggressive plan to make it more accessible to the community, including building more branches in Latino neighborhoods, establishing a bilingual call center, and creating a Spanish language website.. Fifteen branches are now designated as "bilingual branches, " and thus have Spanish-speaking staff, product brochures and marketing materials, and the wire transfer product.

While it is preliminary to gauge the results against all of the objectives, the Bank has witnessed a 34% increase in calls to the bilingual call center. It has also surpassed planned activity in its first branch opened under this initiative in September 1999.


Radio Ads

Print Ad


Direct Mail

Wire Transfer




© 2002 Isabel Valdés - To contact the author, email: or call (650) 322-1922
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