Those Packer Aaron Rodgers Associated Bank Commercials

These commercials have been going on for about a month, when football season went into full tilt here in football-mad Wisconsin.   Mmmm, yes, Aaron is fiiiiine.  Someone would have to be dead not to appreciate the Packers quarterback’s other (ahem!) attributes.  He reminds me a little of Broadway Joe Namath without the smack talk.  Aaron just delivers.  Which means that even elderly women are certainly not yet dead or immune, but  Chicago actress Penny Reynolds,  who plays Edith Yargoczinski, pushes it for laughs, not for knocking boots.

Of course, the Bears fan doing the slow burn is just jealous.  Her name is Gerry Kasik out of Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin.  Interestingly, she’s been acting for over 40 years in local and regional theatre and substitute teaches or acts as study hall monitor at the nearby high school.  And she’s a rabid Packers fan.

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The story behind the commercials? 

Officials for the bank, based in Green Bay, knew that there was renewed interest in Packers checking with the Super Bowl victory. They signed Rodgers as a brand ambassador.  They also wanted something different that would tap into the strange, wonderful football culture that is Green Bay.

And the truth is that everyone knows someone like Edith.

“I’m from Green Bay,” Brawner said. “I was sort of thinking of my grandmother, Ida Brawner.”

So the search began for the right Edith.

“We went through an extensive search, 25 or 30 actresses, maybe more,” Brawner said. “We saw her and immediately knew she was right.”

The first commercial was filmed on location at an Associated Bank in Milwaukee. Some of the best moments proved to be spontaneous, including as Edith moves to give Rodgers a little hug.

“Is that part of the deal?” Rodgers asks the bank employee in the scene.

“That actually wasn’t scripted,” said Riedel. “It ended up being a keeper.”

As newspaper ads explain, new Packers checking customers are entered into a special drawing every time they use the Packers Debit MasterCard. The prize is an hour with Aaron Rodgers.

In keeping with that theme, another commercial and ad show Edith and Aaron under dryers in a beauty salon. She’s reading a Green Bay Packers magazine. He’s reading a woman’s magazine.

A sweetly confident Edith smiles as a woman in a Bears jersey glowers.

“I was there for the filming of the commercials, and you could see the camaraderie between Edith and Aaron, both on and off the set,” said H Koal, the quarterback’s business manager. “You could see the chemistry and you could see the humor.”

“On and off the set”?  Reynolds is playing a role.  So is Aaron in a way.  She and Aaron are themselves off camera.  Maybe there is a mesh, but let’s get real, shall we?

Reynolds’ unscripted admiration for Rodgers was that little something extra that only a pro would naturally add, and for that, Reynolds has entered the annals of priceless moments from 30-sec and 60-sec commercials–those slices of American life that can be touched with humor and keep the viewers in their seats waiting to see it again and again.  Even if the viewers don’t buy the product, they know it.  But Gerry Kasik is no slouch either.  That woman ranks with the likes of Reta Shaw and Marjorie Main in the scowl category.   Mean!  And I agree with her that infamy–even in a bank commercial–does last forever.  Let’s hope that both ladies get a few more calls for commercials, and even more.

Note that I admire the way the Laughlin Constable advertising firm created this commercial.  I’m not endorsing banks, especially banks that I know nothing about.  Associated Bank is out of Green Bay, and has about 200 branches across the state, as well as 70 branches  in Minnesota and Illinois.  These commercials are not playing in those states, possibly to avoid pissing off potential customers, although there have been calls from Vikes and Bears fans, who’ve seen and heard of the successful ad campaign with Rodgers, to use QBs from their own teams in like commercials.  May not happen; I repeat, MAY NOT HAPPEN.

His handlers are gently bringing him into the realm of player endorsements and branding, but perhaps the success of this campaign will accelerate Aaron Rodgers getting some more opportunities as well.  And Aaron will remain Aaron long after his knees give out, among many women.  He’s alright.

Go Pack!

~ by blksista on October 21, 2011.

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