BofA to run Olympic ad filmed in Charlotte

Bank of America Corp. will announce today the debut of its Olympics ad campaign, which includes a TV commercial filmed around Charlotte.

The 30-second ad, filmed this spring, shows Charlotte residents in their local hangouts, schools, water aerobics classes and elsewhere cheering for the U.S. athletes, who will compete in Beijing in August. Part of the commercial was filmed at the U.S. National Whitewater Center, when qualifying trials were held there in April. Some scenes were filmed randomly while others were prearranged, said Craig Auerbach, the bank's Olympic sponsorship executive.

Originally, the bank intended to create a video for internal use only, but decided to use the material for TV because “we were so excited about the energy and the content and the mix of people willing to be engaged,” Auerbach said.

In addition to the commercial, the bank will release online, print and radio ads. The campaign will debut Saturday in conjunction with the U.S. diving trials.

The new ads promote the bank's Olympic-branded cards and checks, and direct viewers to, a bank-sponsored site that encourages people to post videos, pictures and messages in support of the U.S. Olympic team.

Auerbach declined to disclose how much the bank has spent on its Olympic sponsorship, but he noted that Bank of America is the only bank sponsor of the U.S. Olympic team.

Some activist groups have used the Olympics as a platform to criticize China's treatment of Tibet and other practices related to human rights. As for Bank of America, Auerbach said the company is taking its cue from the U.S. Olympic Committee: “We're really focused on supporting the athletes competing in Beijing or wherever the games are held.”