Posted by Scott Bird | Under Business, Local Media, Marketing, Public Relations, Success Stories Tuesday Jan 8, 2013
Since Home Federal Bank began in Knoxville in 1928 as a hometown building and loan, it has been an important part of our community. In the holiday movie classic “It’s a Wonderful Life,” George Bailey’s building and loan is likewise a cornerstone of his town, Bedford Falls.
And thus the movie’s relevance to Knoxville begins, but it’s also must-see, get-in-the-spirit viewing for many each Christmas season.
When Moxley Carmichael began working with Home Federal Bank in 2010, our firm sought to create exclusive, visibility-building programs that exemplified the bank’s local, high-touch brand. Free community screenings of this classic film fit the bill for one such program.
Released in 1947 and starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed, “It’s a Wonderful Life” is a bittersweet comedy/drama about Bailey, a compassionate but debt-ridden manager of a bank in typical small-town America, and the angel that helps him realize his importance in the world. The film has been nominated for five Academy Awards and ranks No. 20 on the American Film Institute’s “100 Greatest Movies of All Time” list.
In December 2010, Home Federal Bank presented its inaugural screenings of “It’s a Wonderful Life” at the beautiful, historic Tennessee Theatre in downtown Knoxville. A decidedly non-commercial event, there are no speeches, no sales pitches, and not even a bank brochure to be found.
This is Home Federal’s Christmas gift to our community.
The screenings are presented in grand style, complete with pre-movie concerts of the season’s classic tunes – plus show-stopper “Tennessee Waltz” – by Dr. Bill Snyder and Freddie Brabson on the Mighty Wurlitzer organ. Audiences love these concerts almost as much as the movie itself.
For new events, the question always exists: How many people will attend? But in 2010, all concerns were put to rest even before the doors opened to the theater. As a light snow fell from the sky, moviegoers were caroling together in eager anticipation. What a perfect launch!
For the event’s third year, Dec. 2, 2012, brought sunshine and unseasonably warm temperatures, and a new question arose: Would East Tennesseans be in a holiday spirit in shorts and T-shirts?
No problem. The house was completely filled for both showings, with more than 3,000 attending the two screenings – about 1,000 more than in the event’s first year. Media sponsors WBIR-TV 10, WIVK-FM 107.7 and the News Sentinel certainly helped spread the word.
Many attendees have already made this fun event a new tradition to help ring in the Christmas season with family and friends. For Moxley Carmichael, we consider this program a big win – an event that clearly resonates with our East Tennessee neighbors and a perfect extension of Home Federal Bank’s brand.