Lights, camera, action for bankers featured in new U.S. Bank brand campaign

June 28, 2024
U.S. Bank employees Kayla Gilmore, left, and Brian Aguilar as they appear in a new brand campaign.

‘Brian from Boise’ and ‘Kayla from Kansas City’ talk about going from the branch to TV screens across the country

Kayla Gilmore said she was excited but relaxed when she toured the set, met the crew, had her hair and makeup done, and eventually took her position on the stage.

“I felt no nerves at all,” she said. “Then the director yelled and the bright lights came on, the camera moved in and everyone was looking at me – and my eye started twitching like crazy.”

Gilmore, whose day job is manager of the U.S. Bank branch in Lynden, Washington, was being filmed for the bank’s new “The Power of US” campaign, the first time she’d done any kind of acting.

It didn’t take long for her eye to calm down and for Gilmore to complete her first scene, she said.

“It was an incredible experience,” said Gilmore, who’s been with U.S. Bank for three years. “It was so cool to see how everything works and the details that everyone looks for.”

Also on set that day and also a first-time actor was Brian Aguilar, manager of the U.S. Bank branch in Ferndale, Washington.

“I was nervous but at the same time very excited,” said Aguilar, who has been with U.S. Bank for 10 years. “I’m very proud of the project. It was so cool to do it.”

Gilmore is billed as “Kayla from Kansas City” and Aguilar as “Brian from Boise” in the campaign, but that’s marketing magic. Both were selected in part because their branches are close to the Canadian border and the filming was done in Vancouver, British Columbia, said Toni Sizemore, vice president, Brand Execution for U.S. Bank.

“We wanted to use real bankers to represent our people,” Sizemore said. “We reached out to our branch team in the Pacific Northwest and said we were looking for friendly bankers who wouldn’t be afraid to be on camera. Brian and Kayla were recommended by their district manager, and both were perfect.”

The shoot was completed in April and the campaign began to roll out in late May, with movie star Jake Gyllenhaal doing the voiceover. It’s planned to run through the end of this year.

“My entire family lives in Arizona, so I sent a screen recording of the commercial from my phone to my grandparents and my dad,” Gilmore said. “My grandfather is having some health problems and my nana messaged that it made him so happy and they were so proud of me. It was huge, their granddaughter the star.”

Gilmore has enjoyed the limelight, she said.

“One of my friends told me I’m the thumbnail on the YouTube link,” she said. “I didn’t know what a thumbnail was but now I do.”

Aguilar said his family and friends have been “in shock” after seeing him on TV.

“One family member said, ‘Your commercial is good enough to be a Super Bowl commercial,’ which was really cool,” he said.

Aguilar said he is a humble guy and has downplayed things when customers have mentioned the commercial to him, while Gilmore has taken a different approach.

“I have shamelessly pulled clients over to my desk to show it to them,” she said with a laugh.

To see Gilmore and Aguilar in the campaign, watch the video below.

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