The Philadelphia area's largest bank - Wachovia - is about to get a marketing makeover: Its familiar blue-and-green logo will disappear from 293 bank branches in Pennsylvania this weekend as Wells Fargo rebrands them with its own name.
Wells Fargo quietly converted 333 Delaware and New Jersey branches in February. This time, the San Francisco bank is undertaking a major marketing push, with plans to spend as much in the next eight weeks as it usually spends here in a year.
Expect to see huge Wells Fargo flags draping the walls of 30th Street Station, SEPTA buses dressed up like Wells Fargo stage coaches, not to mention a flood of billboard, TV, and print advertising.
Wells is also sponsoring the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts' street fair April 30 and a jazz festival at the African American Museum in Philadelphia from April 29 to May 1, among other events.
There is even a two-block Wells Fargo stagecoach ride in the works for Mayor Nutter, from City Hall to the bank's regional headquarters at Broad and Sansom Streets.
"We'll be everywhere," Thomas Bell, a Wells Fargo senior vice president and regional sales and marketing director for Pennsylvania and Delaware, said Tuesday. He declined to say how much Wells is spending on the marketing drive.
The conversion will start Friday night after closing, as Wachovia tarps that now cover Wells Fargo signs will come off, computer systems will be switched over, and branches that have Saturday hours will open at 9 a.m. as Wells Fargo.
"We obsess over the details," said Hugh Long, Wells Fargo regional president for Pennsylvania and Delaware.
On Tuesday, Long was urging a fix for backlighting in the historic Center City branch in the former Fidelity Bank building made famous in the 1983 movie Trading Places. The lighting was not the proper Wells Fargo shade of red.
Wells Fargo bought Wachovia in December 2008, a fallout from the financial industry's meltdown. Wachovia has nearly a quarter of this area's total bank deposits, the largest market share of any bank.
Contact staff writer Harold Brubaker at 215-854-4651 or email@example.com.