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Bank of America: Not Another Macy's

By Amy Mikel in Miscellaneous on May 13, 2008 4:55PM

A marketing slip-up in the merger of two large corporations can cause customers to feel angry and betrayed, especially when a company with local ties is being overtaken by a national company. We saw this with the Macy’s corporate take-over of Marshall Field’s, which some are calling this decade’s “New Coke” of marketing disasters.

BofA.jpgPeople don’t seem to be as torn up over the Bank of America / LaSalle Bank merger, which became official October 1, 2007. Perhaps learning their lesson from the beleaguered Macy’s, Bank of America's marketing and promotions in Chicago are meant to forge a connection with former LaSalle Bank customers. Despite a minor marketing mistake early in their campaign (and possibly botching the 2007 Chicago Marathon), Bank of America has successfully dodged any sizeable wrath from the Chicago community.

We are not too sure what Bank of America did differently than Macy’s -- maybe people just care more about a retail store than a bank -- but both corporations are throwing ridiculous amounts of money around in an attempt to seduce Chicagoans and gain their patronage. Macy’s name seems to be on everything, from events at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to the 4th of July fireworks, and Bank of America inherits LaSalle Bank sponsorship of the Shamrock Shuffle, marathon and half-marathon, and events like Looptopia (which they backed out of).

So, since Macy’s and Bank of America are stepping up with the sponsorship and community service, is it worth the lost sentimentality of the former brands?