A free summer-long downtown concert series
About seven years ago, Tim Marshall, president and CEO of the
Bank of Ann Arbor (assets: $1 billion), Michigan, had a vision
of a free summer-long concert series to enliven a downtown
Ann Arbor park. The event would showcase local musical
talent and further support the community’s arts and culture.
With the help of the bank’s advertising agency, Perich +
Partners, the financial institution created and branded Sonic
Lunch, a lunchtime concert series on Thursdays during the
Since then, the concert series has grown into a staple of
the summer scene. From June to August, people from diverse
sections of the community stop by to enjoy free music and
to purchase lunch from a restaurant partner. The bank also
partners with a local radio station to attract up-and-coming
national touring artists. Over the years, Sonic Lunch has
presented such vocalists as Darren Criss, a former University
of Michigan music student who starred in Fox television’s
“Glee,” Mayer Hawthorne, Michelle Chamuel (finalist on
“The Voice”), Vance Joy, Brett Dennan and more.
Here’s how one local resident rated the series on a recent
awareness survey: “[Bank of Ann Arbor is a] fun local company
with a human touch. I’m also impressed with their support
of Sonic Lunch. They seem to actually care about the community and not just profits.”
A monthly downtown block party with food,
music and shopping
For years, Jill Castilla, president and CEO of Citizens Bank of
Edmond, (assets: $250 million, Edmond, Okla.) heard suggestions that the bank do something to help make the city
more diverse and interesting. Inspired by the success of Bank
of Ann Arbor’s Sonic Lunch, she and her team created Heard
on Hurd, a once-a-month block party for downtown Edmond.
In only its second year, Heard on Hurd is expanding in
2015. This year the event is closing more streets to make
room for more local food vendors, more local shopping and
more local music. More than 7,000 people attended Heard
on Hurd’s 2015 kick-off event on March 21.
“It’s a homecoming for our community that gets to hap-
Images of social
promoting the Bank
of Ann Arbor’s Sonic
Lunch concerts and
the Heard on Hurd
monthly block parties
sponsored by Citizens
Bank of Edmond.
You want people to enjoy an experience that they will
associate positively with your brand.