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Questlove stars in ‘Made Ready’ brand platform ad for Citizens Bank


By Kyle O'Brien, Creative Works Editor

September 16, 2019 | 3 min read

Citizens Bank has enlisted The Roots drummer Questlove for its brand platform campaign, ‘Made Ready,’ with an aim of helping customers, colleagues, communities and shareholders be prepared for their own unique life and financial journeys.

Questlove Citizens

Questlove for Citizens Bank

“The way our customers live their lives and define success has changed, and the relatively straight path they used to travel has become more like climbing a jungle gym,” said Beth Johnson, chief marketing officer at Citizens Bank. “Our ‘Made Ready’ platform highlights how we celebrate and support the steps that make every journey unique.”

‘Made Ready’ looks to help customers and clients reach their potential through convenient, simple and personalized financial offerings that enable their own distinctive experiences.

Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson is an artist who has built a multidimensional career around his unique interests and non-linear journey, and he’s partnering with Citizens to create an original song by The Roots to bring the spirit of the ‘Made Ready’ brand platform to life. Questlove will debut at Made Ready for Music presented by Citizens Bank, an exclusive live event at his alma mater, the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts on 27 September.

Questlove also stars in one of the bank’s 30-second ads, showing performing his various passions, from playing drums to spinning turntables, teaching children how to play music and inspiring people along the way. The branding comes in when he pays for a haircut with touch pay technology.

"Made Ready speaks to me because I think I'm the living embodiment of it. I'm a person who has walked a path of preparation, education and knowledge," said Questlove in a release. "I utilized these talents, these gifts and this education to bring me to the place where I am now in my life."

The performance will be recorded by audience members with smart glasses styled to match Questlove’s signature eyewear. The footage, along with crowdsourced video that will be solicited in a social media campaign asking how consumers are Made Ready for their life’s journey, will be compiled into a music video. The video will be released this fall and promoted through a new media partnership with Vulture on a custom digital hub which will highlight Questlove’s own non-linear journey and how he’s made ready for whatever comes next, as depicted in Citizens’ new Made Ready platform.

The platform launched across a range of mass media including television, online, social media, radio, podcasts and streaming providers such as Spotify, as well as distinct regional advertising and sponsored local events. Outdoor advertising will appear at major transit hubs within the financial institution's local footprint, such as Boston’s South and Back Bay Stations and Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station.

Citizens Bank: Made Ready by Ogilvy SG

By Citizens Bank

Overall Rating 4/5

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