First Merit | Blue Shirt Campaign
project name

First Merit | Blue Shirt Campaign

  • Client:

    First Merit

  • Our Role:

    Agency of Record

About the Client:

FirstMerit Bank (FirstMerit) is part of a multi-billion banking corporation focused on providing world-class banking services to the communities in which it is located and to its diverse client base. Having served communities throughout the Midwest for more than 165 years, FirstMerit has established a reputation for skillfully implementing innovative strategies created for its varied clientele. From savings accounts for children, to partnering with multi-million dollar development projects, FirstMerit has the people and the resources available to fulfill the needs and demands of the communities in which the bank has a presence.

Services Provided:
  • Strategic Communications
  • Art Direction
  • Photo Shoot Production
  • Marketing

To heighten public awareness of FirstMerit and its community-based endeavors by highlighting local non-profits – such as Detroit PAL, the Michigan Science Center, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Belle Isle Conservancy, and The Skillman Foundation – through a billboard campaign promoting FirstMerit’s Blue Shirt Campaign.

Business Challenge:

Ignition was responsible for designing a campaign that would help raise awareness of five of the area’s local non-profits as well as FirstMerit Bank and the role each entity plays in Detroit. In doing so, the team was tasked with crafting a meaningful message giving thanks to those who dedicate their time towards making our city a better place while simultaneously emphasizing FirstMerit’s community contributions.

Ignition Execution:

Ignition facilitated a strategic alliance with Total Outdoor to provide prime locations for the wallscapes to be displayed throughout downtown Detroit. Furthermore, Ignition not only curated and produced the photo shoot, but provided the graphic design for the signs as well.


Ignition managed the overall project execution from assisting in the identification of the featured charities all the way through securing prime locations on building throughout downtown Detroit. The campaign received significant press coverage, including the television appearance of Ignition CEO, Dennis Archer, Jr., and FirstMerit Vice Chairman, Sandy Pierce, on the local ABC affiliate. Due to the campaign’s success, FirstMerit has tapped Ignition to produce similar campaigns in several other markets.