Accomplice Media’s Stephen Pearson Directs Marcus Mariota for First Hawaiian Bank

Latest ads featuring the Hawaiian-born quarterback promote personal banking, debit cards and other services.
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Los Angeles— Tennessee Titans star Marcus Mariota might take chances on the football field, but when it comes to managing his money, he avoids Hail Marys.

In a new spot for First Hawaiian Bank, conceived by Honolulu agency MVNP and directed by Accomplice Media’s Stephen Pearson, the thoughtful financial strategy developed by the Hawaii native and his personal banker is humorously contrasted with get-rich-quick schemes of a flamboyant acquaintance. When “Ian” approaches Mariota at a posh restaurant and babbles about his advisor’s ability to turn “hundreds into millions overnight,” the quarterback rolls his eyes and demurs, “I think I’ll stick with the plan.”

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The ad is a continuation of a campaign begun last year featuring Mariota and promoting bank services that make practical differences in people’s lives. The original spots underscored ways that First Hawaiian helps people plan for weddings, vacations and other “milestones.” The new spots pick up on the same theme, promoting personal banking and debit card programs. They also bring back some of the characters from the first flight, including Ian, who starred in an ad set on an airplane as Mariota’s spendthrift seatmate.

“A lot of bank commercials present a romanticized view of banking and Hawaii,” says MVNP Executive Creative Director Vince Soliven. “We’re focusing on real people and scenarios that they face in their daily lives.”

“Our strength as a bank is helping solve real financial problems, so we worked closely with MVNP to create spots that resonated with the audience,” agrees Chris Dods, First Hawaiian Bank, Executive Vice President, Consumer Banking and Marketing Group Manager. “These spots required a director who could pull them off in a natural way—and Stephen did that.”

Part of the success of the campaign lies in Pearson’s ability to present Mariota, who enjoys hero status in his home state, as a regular Joe. “Even though he’s successful and famous, Marcus hasn’t lost the values his parents taught him,” notes Pearson. “He trusts First Hawaiian with his money.”

Pearson adds that he helped Mariota relax in front of the camera by allowing him to ad lib some of his lines. “I wanted to make sure Marcus was comfortable with the material and having fun on set,” he explains. “He’s very down to earth, professional and has a good sense of humor. When he was laughing with the crew, I knew he was happy to be there.”

In addition to the new broadcast spots, Pearson directed a series of 15-second web shorts featuring Mariota and the money squandering Ian.

Pearson shot the spots in Hawaii. The production included several practical locations and a stage shoot for the web shorts. “Stephen and his crew were focused on telling the stories and finding solutions to creative challenges without compromising,” says Soliven. “He’s a seasoned director with a new school mentality, a true collaborator and very good at making talent feel comfortable. He’s a good guy to have on set.”

For more information about Accomplice Media, visit

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Client:                  First Hawaiian Bank.

Agency: MVNP. Vince Soliven, Executive Creative Director; Juju Ranches, Sr. Art Director; Jo Archibald, Sr. Copywriter; Malcolm Bailey, Copywriter.

Production:        Accomplice Media Stephen Pearson Director; Jeff Snyder, Executive Producer.



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