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Marilyn Monroe 'Stars' With Candace Parker, Kevin Love, John Madden In Citi Campaign

By Barry Janoff

September 8, 2012: Financial firm Citi must believe that some like it hot when it comes to activating its Private Pass entertainment access program, bringing in the late, great Marilyn Monroe to co-star along with the likes of WNBA star Candace Parker, NBA all-star and U.S. Olympic team member Kevin Love and NFL icon John Madden.

The campaign, "More," also will include such A-Listers as Alicia Keys, Carlos Santana, Daniel Boulud and Giada De Laurentiis.

Each of the personalities featured in the campaign has been or will be part of a Citi Private Pass event, according to Citi.

“Citi’s access to the best in dining, sports and entertainment enables us to tap into our customers’ passion areas and earn their loyalty,” Vanessa Colella, head of North America marketing for Citi, said in a statement, “This multifaceted campaign uses a variety of channels to engage customers and illustrate how we are providing them with unforgettable experiences.”

The campaign includes TV, print, digital and social media, ads in Citibank branches and outdoor ads in New York (Bryant Park), Los Angeles (The Grove shopping center) and Chicago (Ogilvy Station).

In the lead TV spot, "The Ex," a guy named Jack is dumped by his girlfriend, who calls him, "Boring. Boring. Boring." Rather than become despondent, Jack goes to the Citi Private Pass Web site in an attempt to add excitement to his life.

"That's where I met Marilyn, Glada and Alicia," he says, referring to his presence at an exclusive gallery showing that features photos of Marilyn Monroe, an invitation for a private cooking event with Food Network's Giada De Laurentiis and a backstage pass to an Alicia Keys concert.

A voiceover offers, "Use any Citi card to get the benefit of Citi Private Pass. More concerts. More events. More experiences."

"Who's boring now?" asks Jack, who apparently never thought of doing, or didn't want to do, these "exciting" things with his ex-girlfriend. Keys’ first single from her next album, Girl On Fire, is featured in the commercial. (See the full spot here.)

Upcoming events include watching an NFL game in John Madden’s production facility, attending the Candace Parker Basketball ProCamp and luncheon and spending time at the Kevin Love Basketball ProCamp.

“This multifaceted campaign uses a variety of channels to engage customers and illustrate how we are providing them with unforgettable experiences.”

According to Ralph Andretta, head of co-brands and loyalty for Citi Cards, “These ads show how anyone with a Citi credit or debit card can get more music, sports and dining. Whether our customers want to see their kids’ joy in playing with baseball legends or seeing their favorite band, we’re offering exclusive access to experiences of a lifetime."

Among other recent activations, Citi was a first-time sponsor of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

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