Change is difficult—especially when it comes to changing banks. Most people don’t switch banks, even when they’re unhappy with the service.

Associated’s new marketing campaign is unique to the banking industry -- and recently received coverage in Milwaukee Business Journal and the New York Times.

“According to a recent Mintel Report[1], sixty-five percent of people say they do not trust banks,” said Christopher Piotrowski, chief marketing officer at Associated. “Yet, unlike other industries, this lack of trust and general disappointment in customer service rarely translates to action. Rather than making a change, they become apathetic and do nothing.”

Associated Bank is addressing this inertia head-on with a new marketing campaign that empowers customers to hold banks accountable to provide better service, products and practices. The campaign also brings an approach that’s fresh to the banking industry.

“Most banks talk about banking in the same way,” said Piotrowski. “With the ‘Challenge Your Bank’ campaign, Associated is highlighting emotionally charged customer pain points to get them to re-think their current bank.”

Two bold new television ads use humor to juxtapose the tolerance bank customers show for poor customer experiences with the lack of patience generally displayed for a similar experience in other walks of life. Numerous billboard ads feature direct contact information for local commercial bankers or tweets from actual Associated consumers about positive service. The campaign also extends to print, radio and online display ads. Launching this month, the campaign will run in Associated’s key markets of Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Milwaukee and Madison.

“Through our research, we’ve learned that, in general, customers feel banks take advantage of them, are frustrating to deal with and only look out for their own interests, not the interest of the customer,” said Piotrowski. “We are encouraging customers to challenge all banks, including ours, and opening the door to a better customer experience at Associated.”

Associated understands that when it comes to choosing a bank, trust and customer service are important factors, and prides itself on providing best-in-class customer care. Associated recently received recognition from The Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals in Business (SOCAP International), which labeled the bank’s customer engagement efforts as a “strategic asset,” the highest possible rating.

Associated strives to make banking easy and convenient for its customers. The company offers self-service options for the customer on-the-go including online banking, mobile banking and telephone banking. Our award-winning customer service is offered in over 200 languages 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Additional information about Associated’s products and services, as well as the newly created marketing campaign, is available at

[1] Mintel Group, “Retail Banking – US, October 2012.”