Synovus Bank and advertising agency Fitzgerald & Co.’s new psa focuses on “Gym Rats.” The 60-second PSA shows that Synovus Bank is the “bank of here” by taking the ultimate back seat to Hurricane Boxing Gym, a local non-profit that reaches out to at-risk youth in Tampa Bay.
The ad shows young gym members as they train with Hurricane owner Will Velez. “Gym rats—that’s what they call us. At first I didn’t like it,” one member says in a monologue that ends with the realizing that “Rats survive; they take care of their own. I’m cool with being a gym rat.”
The PSA, which is intended to increase awareness in the Tampa community for Hurricane and its mission, tags with “This ring builds champions.” It is airing now on local network TV affiliates and online and will run for a year.
DIVERGE talked to Mitch Bennett, Fitzco’s Executive Creative Director to find out more:
Where did the idea come from?
We were filming a different campaign, called “The Pre-Roll of Here,” where we made beautifully shot pre-roll spots that were incredibly local, showing places and references you’d only know if you were from the town. One of the places was this amazing not-for-profit, Hurricane Boxing Gym, that helps keep kids off the street in Tampa, Florida. We had talked all along about how great it would be to use the footage and give it back to the gym as a PSA, and to find media for them locally. Our production partner Caviar’s director Jordan Bahat had the Gym Rats idea and cut together the spot from what we shot. For Synovus, who pride themselves in being engrained in the community as the Bank of Here, it was a no brainer.
Why was it important to give “Gym Rat” a positive connotation?
These kids are working so hard and training constantly. They’re not just learning about boxing and competing, but discipline and self-respect. We wanted to help them own that persona of being a gym rat, and make it a good thing.
Why did the bank not have their name in the ad?
Synovus didn’t want to take away from the message of the gym. That’s just how they are – honest and giving and down to earth. They’re an amazing company in that way, it’s kind of unusual. They’re having a celebration at the gym to give them a check for $30,000 in addition to the spot, and while they might get some local press for that, it’s not why they’re doing it at all.
What does this ad aim to accomplish?
When you’re a small nonprofit, you’re reliant on small favors to get things done. It’s hard to get your hands on great footage and storytelling and editing. So the main thing was to help them get the word out in a big way, and increase donations to support what they’re doing.
Was this PSA probono?
How can others help/contribute?
If you’re in Tampa you can check out the gym for yourself, it’s pretty amazing what they’re doing there. And anyone can contribute at http://www.hurricaneboxinggym.com/get-involved
CAMPAIGN TITLE: Gym Rats
EXECUTION TITLE: Gym Rats
AGENCY: Fitzgerald & CO
LAUNCH DATE: Saturday 2/18/2017
WHERE DID THIS AIR? Local spot TV in Tampa Bay area
CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER: Noel Cottrell
EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR(s): Mitch Bennett, Wes Whitener
ART DIRECTOR(s): Erin Fillingim
COPYWRITER(s): Matt Shoemake
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF INTEGRATED PRODUCTION: Christine Sigety
PRODUCTION COMPANY & CITY: Caviar, Los Angeles
DIRECTOR: Jordan Bahat
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER (PRODUCTION CO): Darren Foldes
LINE PRODUCER: Michael Sarkissian
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Michael Gioulakis
POST PRODUCTION & CITY: Caviar, Los Angeles
EDITORIAL COMPANY & CITY: Caviar, Los Angeles
EDITORIAL PRODUCER: Terry Huynh
EDITOR: Jack Price
MUSIC PRODUCTION COMPANY: Score A Score
MUSIC EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Jordan Passman
PRODUCER: Jake Weinreb
COMPOSER/ARRANGER: Daniel Ciurlizza
GROUP ACCOUNT DIRECTOR: Jeffery Quick
ACCOUNT DIRECTOR: Allison Sherrill
ASSISTANT ACCOUNT DIRECTOR: Lauren Gourley
BUSINESS AFFAIRS: Lisa Holloway