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WaFd Bank Headquarters

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Bank Headquarters Remodel Utilizes Planar Video Walls for Digital Engagement

The roots of WaFd Bank trace back to 1917 when a group of local businessmen established the bank as Ballard Savings and Loan Association in a fishing and lumber community just north of Seattle, Washington. Fast forward to today and WaFd Bank is one of the largest banking institutions in the U.S., operating over 230 offices across eight western states.

In 2019, right around the time the bank rebranded to its current name, WaFd Bank engaged digital brand agency NewReach to create a digital engagement campaign that would allow the bank to better reach diverse audiences, establish deeper connections with customers and push the WaFd Bank brand into new markets.

“It was important to really understand WaFd’s culture in order to map it to a digital experience,” said NewReach Founder Roger Starkweather. “WaFd Bank is a hundred-year-old family-run institution with a legacy in the Pacific Northwest.

They are personable. They are relatable. All of these elements of their DNA had to come out in new, interesting and creative ways.”

NewReach developed a content strategy that centers on brand messaging and reaching customers through their personal journeys to help them achieve long-term goals. The campaign also establishes WaFd Bank headquarters, in downtown Seattle, as a model for a digital experience that other WaFd Bank branches can aspire to.

WaFd Bank headquarters was subsequently remodeled and three different areas (the entry, the corner ATM and the interior lobby) were built featuring display technologies. The new entry and interior lobby feature video walls from Planar.

The Connected Walls

In the main entry, the Connected Walls consist of two nearly 7-foot-long, 12-foot-high Clarity® Matrix® G3 LCD Video Wall Systems in portrait orientation and 3x3 configurations. Installed by audio visual integrator AVI-SPL, the video walls—which are mounted on either side of the entrance space—provide a canvas for artful and inspirational content that creates a welcoming experience for both WaFd Bank customers and visitors alike.

Content shown on the Connected Walls highlight WaFd’s connection to the community and include live art moments inspired by nature as well as artwork from Stefan Frei, the goalkeeper of the Seattle Sounders of MLS soccer.

“We worked with WaFd Bank to integrate Mr. Frei’s artwork with the bank’s culture and make it come to life,” Starkweather said.

“The Connected Walls make a great statement when you walk in,” said Steve Mauer, web manager and AV specialist with WaFd Bank.

“The goal was to create a big impression on people and the video walls certainly do that.”

Along with a refresh of their brand and revitalization of their headquarters, WaFd Bank sought to bridge the gap between their digital and physical spaces, uniting the two into one integrated community. MG2, the project’s architect, branding, and interior design partner, enlisted the expertise of NewReach to help bring that unification to life.

Lobby video wall highlights brand and educational content

In WaFd’s interior lobby, an 8-foot-long, 4.5-foot-high Clarity Matrix G3 LCD Video Wall in a 2x2 configuration was integrated to reinforce the bank’s brand and educate customers about WaFd’s features. “Visitors have a longer dwell time in the lobby environment, which provides more opportunity to connect with visitors and tell the WaFd Bank story,” said Steven Picanza, co-founder at Latin & Code, a strategic partner of NewReach, who was the chief brand strategist of the WaFd Bank digital content.
NewReach created a content strategy for the video wall organized around micro moments—content clusters that are intended to engage customers with the bank’s products and services.

These include:

‘I want to know moments’—when consumers are interested in information about traffic, weather, local events, as well as product features and WaFd Bank’s history.

‘I want to go moments’—when consumers are looking for adventure and traveling or making holiday plans.

‘I want to buy moments’—when consumers want to make a purchase such as a house, a car or even clothing and groceries.

‘I want to do moments’—when customers need to refinance their house, start a business, save for college or plan for retirement.

“The psychology of buying places visitors into these different categories,” said Picanza.

“Micro moments call attention to the types of things they might be thinking about and how the bank can help.”

NewReach selected Clarity Matrix G3 for the project for its near-seamless picture and durability in public spaces, according to Starkweather.

“Clarity Matrix G3 offered minimal bezels and we designed content around those lines—we used the bezels to our advantage,” he said.

Mauer said, “The bank remodel and new video walls are a huge improvement from before. The displays look great and we are very pleased with the results.”