Culpeper was ready for its closeup this weekend.
The town was featured in a commercial shoot for Union bank Jan. 13-15 as camera crews filmed on location at the Union building on Main Street.
The regional commercial, which is targeted for Fredericksburg and areas south of there, brought in a crew of 60-plus and highlighted the Culpeper location on the corner of Davis and Main Street.
Virginia Bertholet, with the West Cary Group, said that Union and the production team returned to Culpeper because the location is strong and the town is so inviting. Last year, Union filmed three 30-second spots at the Culpeper Main Street location. This year they are filming four spots.
“From the shooting perspective, this Culpeper branch is new and modern,” Bertholet said. “It looks great, it’s an easy place to shoot. The front lobby is modern and new. It presents Union in a modern, new look.”
Beth Shivak, Vice President, Director of Corporate Communications at Union Bank & Trust, said Union puts an emphasis on supporting the communities where they do business.
Part of that support is by bringing in a large crew to help boost the local economy. Commercial director Bryan Elsom said crew members began arriving the Monday prior to production and filled up the Holiday Inn.
“Culpeper is great, I’ve had great meals here,” Elsom said with a laugh. “The town is incredibly charming. The bank is beautiful. Everytime I turn around there’s another great place to be.”
Elsom, who is based out of Alexandria and has filmed national beer, car and cell phone commercials, said working with Union is very collaborative.
Operate out of Alexandria
“I think everyone knows what the brand is all about, what the messaging is,” Elsom said.
Duane Smith, chief marketing officer with Union, said that message is to stress that Union is making banking easier for their customers.
“Part of these ads, and what we’re trying to convey through them, is showing Union gets it and understands their frustration with big banks,” Smith said. “We’re a good alternative and that we want to be here to make banking easier.”
Union recently acquired Zenith Bank, based in the southern part of Virginia. With that purchase, there are now more than 150 branches and 200 ATM locations in the Commonwealth, with a presence in North Carolina and Maryland as well.
“This is the first time since the 1980s, early 1990s, there’s been a Virginia based regional bank of our size, serving the community,” Smith said
Smith said that the local Union employees were very welcoming and were excited to participate in the shoot, with many serving as extras.
“The bank itself is perfect for the type of production work we need to do,” Smith said. “This is our market, this is where we actually do business. We have both consumer and business customers all around us. It’s a way to kind of support the area we’re part of.”
Ron Warner, Bank Officer and Senior Branch Manager at Union’s Main Street Office, said that the local office was pleased to help bring in more customers for other businesses in town while also spotlighting what Union does for its customers.
“We try to make it as easy as possible,” Warner said. “We have three different hours. We’ve got online banking. We have a lot of stuff that can make banking easier.”
Warner also served as an extra, wearing his best banker’s suit to make an impression.
“I’m enjoying it so far,” Warner said with a laugh.
Also enjoying the experience was Brookelyn Kingery, 9. Brookelyn was acting in her second commercial said her mom Carie, who is a Union employee.
“She loves it, she dresses up for career day at school as a Union banker,” Kingery said.
Carie Kingery said Union has been a wonderful place to work and that they take good care of their teammates and the communities they operate in.
“They’ve given me a ton of opportunities,” she said. “Being able to start your career at the age of 18 and advance really means a lot.”
Union also has offices in Rappahannock, Madison and Orange counties as well.