U.S. Bank is typically known for its financial services, as opposed to its taste in hip hop.
But the Minneapolis-based bank is one of many from throughout the country participating in the "Lights, Camera, Save!" program, which asks youth between the ages of 13 and 18 to produce a short video that emphasizes the value of saving money. And it selected a rap song as its winner.
The program is put on by the American Bankers Association Education Foundation. U.S. Bank spokeswoman Teri Charest on Tuesday said that U.S. Bank issued a call for entries from its nationwide customers, and the applicants were then judged by members of U.S. Bank's community affairs and consumer banking divisions.
The first-place winner is a video created by Leo Moneymaker, 15, and Alex Colucci, 17, of San Juan Capistrano, California. The boys wrote an original rap called the "Save Song" about the benefits of saving money and the danger of carrying too much debt-and they performed the rap under the personas of "Young Muny & Lil Savings."
The video features savings tips and encourages people to limit spending with credit cards. Lyrics include, "If you see that your debt is gettin' higher, just be sure to pay it off or it'll burn you like fire." The rappers go on to joke about how they "ain't got no bling" and they drive rusty cars, while other rappers have fancy things but are consumed by debt.
The two first-place winners received a $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond from U.S. Bank and will now go on to compete against the other national winners selected by other participating banks. The winners of the overall American Bankers Association Education Foundation contest will receive a $3,000 U.S. Savings Bond; those winners will be announced in the spring.
The second-place winner selected by U.S. Bank was a video called "Money Tree" and was created by 18-year-old Ricardo Zaldivar of Fort Wayne, Indiana, who will receive a $500 savings bond. The video uses stop-motion photography to illustrate a growing money tree, and it can be viewed here.
Marion Gils, 15, of Boise, Idaho, will receive a $250 savings bond for her video, which took third place. The video, called "Nest Egg," features graphics of an animated egg that saves money. It can be viewed here.
U.S. Bank is the fifth-largest commercial bank in the United States and operates under parent company U.S. Bancorp-which had $331 billion in assets as of September 30.