Bully Pictures’ Jeffrey DeChausse Delivers Simple Human Stories for First Citizens Bank

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“Forever First” spots from Michigan agency Factory promotes bank’s deep relationships with its clients.

LOS ANGELES — The human stories behind such bedrock banking offerings as savings accounts, debit cards and small business services are explored in a new campaign for North Carolina-based First Citizens Bank.

Bully Pictures

’ Jeffrey DeChausse directed three spots themed “Forever First” for new Michigan agency Factory and the 115-year-old bank, which is making its first major advertising push in more than a decade.

Each spot weaves an emotional tale focusing on how First Citizens Bank helps its customers.

First Love

follows a boy as he grows to adulthood while saving money to achieve his dream. In

A Dog’s Life

, a woman is inspired to build her own business.


shows how an innovative new family debit card helps a single father stay connected with his teenage daughter.


“The commercials are about financial services and we are making those services relevant by connecting them to familiar human stories,” says DeChausse. “The agency’s scripts provided a beautiful opportunity to do something great.”

DeChausse aimed for naturalism and directed the spots with an eye for realism. “We want viewers to get lost in the human element,” he explains. “I wanted to be sure that the actors really understood the stories, their themes and meanings, so that they weren’t just performing roles.”

Mark Lantz, founder and executive creative director of Factory, says that the passion and energy DeChausse brought to the project was infectious. “He has great empathy for the characters he portrays and good storytelling chops,” Lantz observes. “We wanted this campaign to strike a resonant human chord, and Jeffrey nailed it.”


An Emmy for 100 Club

DeChausse struck a different emotional chord with a public service ad for Chicago agency Downtown Partners and the 100 Club of Chicago, a charity benefitting surviving family members of police officers, firefighters and paramedics who lose their lives in the line of duty. The ad features Joe Mantegna, Dennis Franz and other well-known actors talking about the difference between playing a cop on television and working as a real life law enforcement officer. “They don’t always go home,” says Franz. The actors stand on a sound stage and talk directly to the camera. The spot recently won a Chicago/Midwest Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement for Community/Public Service.

“The idea is so simple,” says DeChausse, “but sometimes the simplest ideas are also the biggest—and this was one of them.”


DeChausse’s other recent work includes a campaign for ADT out of Doner, Detroit, and a short film entitled Anniversario. The latter is a comedy about a woman who visits her favorite hairdressers in preparation for her 45th wedding anniversary celebration. The film recently won for Best Director at Flickers: Rhode Island International Film Festival and is also an official selection of the Austin Film Festival, New Filmmakers Los Angeles, and the La Costa Film Festival.

First Citizens Bank Credits

Titles: A Dog’s Life, Together, First Love Agency: Factory. Mark Lantz, Founder, Executive Creative Director; Greg Sieck, Founder, Agency Operations; Tom Parr, Creative Director; Craig Mungons, Producer; William Wayland, Director of Client Services; Victoria Merritt, Assistant Account Executive; Kathi Strace, Talent & Business Manager; Cheryl Addington, Art Director Production: Bully Pictures, Los Angeles. Jeffrey DeChausse, director; Jason Forest, executive producer.

About Bully Pictures

Bully Pictures is a full-service commercial broadcast, web viral, branded content production company located in Santa Monica, California. The company’s roster includes Javier Aguilera, Dustin Lance Black, Juergen Bollmeyer, Fredrik Callinggard, Jeffrey DeChausse, Anne Fletcher, Dave Klaiber, Gaute Hesthagen, Gregory Maya, Luke Savage, Michael Shapiro, and Morten Tyldum. For more information, write




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