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The Advertiser That Loves Bicycles: Regions Bank

It's likely most of our readers haven't heard of Regions Bank or at least haven't seen some of their trademark television spots featuring their distinctive lime green bicycles (Regions refers to them as "life green"). That's probably because most of their branches are in the Southeast U.S, so they likely advertise locally instead of purchasing national buys. But many of their cool adverts are on YouTube so I'll try to embed and link to as many as I can for the bike-curious.

With all the horrible bike ads out there, for years I've admired Regions Bank's marketing arm and their positive integration of the bicycle into their ad campaigns. Most of their settings have a real warm feeling of community and many of their commercials feature a very vibrant downtown vibe with a few slow-travelling cars, plenty of smiling pedestrians and bicyclists rolling around on their Regions classic cruisers. Sure it might be a little livable streets nirvana, but for 30 or 60 seconds you are there.

And sometimes they get artsy. They even did a series of ads featuring bicycle-riding acrobats!

Coincidentally, the bank's colors happen to match up with the MUTCD standards for painted green lanes which is fortuitous for them. In recent years they've also become a partner in the bike share world.  And Regions donated bikes to the BamaBikes program at the University of Alabama.  Here's a short clip on that program:

Regions has many more bike-themed commercials to watch via their website. I encourage you to watch those including the really well made "Brigade" spots.

Frankly, I'm hoping this post isn't the last you'll read here about Regions Bank. Prior to publishing, I attempted to contact someone at Regions over the last few weeks so I could ask them about their choice of bicycle marketing and just how they came to stick with it all these years. No dice. So I ask to the executives at Regions Bank if you are reading, I'd love to know more!

  • http://twitter.com/BikeLaneEnds Dell Wilson

    Are they embracing or exploiting. Here in North Alabama, Regions is one of the largest banks after having originated here and morphed from First Alabama Bank. If Regions were embracing bicycles, I would expect to see some evidence of same in the communities in which they operate. I've honestly not paid much attention to them over the last several years, but I ride the streets of Huntsville and Madison daily and I've never seen a single bike rack outside any of their banks. I also not heard of any participation by representatives in any of the bicycle culture in Huntsville. From my perspective, "embrace" may be too strong a word to use in this context.
    I could be wrong, of course. I'll ask the peeps at AlaBike, who are very active in cycling culture, if they are aware of any support by Regions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=681858498 Clarence Eckerson Jr.

    Oops, I posted that late last night. I wanted that to say "Loves" instead of "Embraces". I'll fix that now. Regardless, if you look at the way bicycles are portrayed by the average ad they are in, Regions excels in making bicycling seem normal, fun, and positive.

  • http://www.facebook.com/punkademic Zack Furness

    This company is only interested in using bicycles to signify their apparently happy-go-lucky nature and/or their interest in 'eco-friendliness'. More specifically, it's probably part of their attempt to re-brand their company since their ex-Vice President was convicted (in 2011) to 40 years in prison for child pornography and sexually abusing children. Bike advocates shouldn't be quick to congratulate companies simply because they show bicycles affiliated with something other than DUI offenders, children, self-obsessed hipsters, and social deviants. If there was a 'bikesploitation' scale that ran from 1 to 10 -- with car companies that advertise inside Bicycling magazine as a 10 -- then I'd put this around a 7.

  • http://twitter.com/Streetfilms Streetfilms

    Zack, it cannot be a re-branding attempt since their bike-themed spots go back at least to early 2008 on Youtube and I suspect even earlier than that. And there is nothing wrong with recognizing/examining advertisers for what they do with bikes, walking, transit and livable streets, which is what this column tries to do - both good and bad - a few times per month.

    After all, over the years there has been so much screaming and yelling from the bike community about the advertising world portraying bikes in a negative light in the media & commercials that when you see the tide turning slowly you gotta show that to people...then let them make their own judgements. I am not saying Regions Bank is better ethically more than any other bank. But their commercials show bicycling as a positive thing, which is still not as ubiquitous as it needs to in this world.

    Hopefully, I'll get to ask Regions Bank some questions about marketing in a follow-up article since no one responded to my initial requests. I'm curious when then they chose to start, why, if their customers like the spots, if they do have bike parking for employees or bike-friendly branches and how involved they are in bicycling events/advocacy.

  • Amanda