It’s becoming more and more common for big companies to highlight their diversity credentials and forward-thinking attitudes by featuring gay people in their advertising.
Now it’s Wells Fargo’s turn. The US bank is rolling out seven adverts as part of a new brand push under the banner ‘Why I Work’.
The first, revealed last week, is called ‘Learning Sign Language’. It features a female couple who are both learning sign language. The reason why? They’re about to become the new, adoptive mommies to a little girl with impaired hearing.
The commercial doesn’t fail to tug at the heartstrings while at the same time demonstrate the diverse nature of Wells Fargo’s clients. It’s the bank’s first national ad campaign to feature a same-sex couple.
Other adverts in the series feature a Hispanic family who run a small business, with another aimed at promoting the bank’s retirement products to seniors.
‘We’ve been serving these communities, but we hadn’t really told that story,’ said Jamie Moldafsky, CMO of Wells Fargo, to AdAge.
‘We understand that there are needs that are really unique to them. … We will only be successful if we mirror the community and population that we serve.’
This is not, it should be noted, the first time Wells Fargo has spoken out in support of diversity and inclusion.
Its staff routinely take part in Pride events across the US and the company has also provided training to employees on how to advise same-sex couples and domestic partners, as well as people managing adoption. It has also helped to promote anti-bullying initiatives in schools.
The company – ranked the eighth biggest company in the world by Forbes last year – has consistently scored 100% in Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for the past 12 years.
The bank has approximately 265,000 employees in 36 countries, with around $1.7 trillion (€1.5 trillion) in assets.
‘Our marketing programs and content reflect our company’s values, and represent the diversity of the communities we serve,’ said Wells Fargo spokesman Ruben Pulido to BizJournal. ‘Wells Fargo’s support for the LGBT community aligns with our broader commitment to diversity.’
The sign language advert was created by ad agency BBDO, who were appointed by Wells Fargo last year. Its executive creative director, Matt Miller, told AdAge that he was at first apprehensive that the bank – might resist the idea behind the latest campaign. However, the reverse was true and they embraced the concept.
‘We never set out to make a spot about a lesbian couple,’ he said. ‘We set out to reflect the modern world this campaign lives in.’
‘This campaign is attempting to illuminate the soul of Wells Fargo and just show the reality of the bank and bank business.
‘Coming along to the brand with fresh eyes and having only seen it as a very rational thing. It didn’t match up. They were very driven by emotional connections to their customers.’