financial services

Charles Schwab Launches 'Aggressive' Creative

talk to chuck/charles schwab Normally, Charles Schwab would be taking a hiatus from advertising during the summer months, but the current economic climate and a recent uptick in business have prompted a new flight of executions.

"We thought this is just not the best time to go dark -- we don't want to stop the momentum," says Nicole Portet, Charles Schwab's director of brand advertising and the leader behind the new "Make the Move" campaign. "What we are seeing is a lot of consumers are switching to Schwab because our reputation has remained above the fray compared to competitive companies. Consumers like that -- they aren't hearing about us in a negative way."

The creative, from Euro RSCG in New York, includes thought-balloon quotes with the phrase "I'm not thinking about moving my money. I am moving it" with the return thought-balloon "Make the Move" connected to the "Talk to Chuck" tagline. Copy includes "Ready to take your financial future off hold? We're ready when you are."



The 30-second TV spot does not use the rotoscoping animation technique in previous spots. Instead, we hear the voices of investors talking out on the street (we hear traffic and street sounds in the background). Schwab bubbles create a visual voice pattern on the screen that moves and changes with the cadence of their voices. Key phrases appear as actual text. The voice pattern sections are interspersed with more simple and serious-looking titles in the voice of Schwab.

The six-week campaign is "definitely more aggressive" and includes more of an urgent call-to-action than Schwab normally engages in, Portet told Marketing Daily. It includes national print, which breaks today in publications, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal and national TV, which breaks Friday. "We really wanted to create a sense of urgency that now is the time," Portet says.

TV will run nationwide on cable, which is a departure from the company's traditional TV buy -- usually network, she says. The change is due to the time of the year and the lack of new programming on network channels. It will include major cable news and Sunday morning news. Outdoor executions in seven key markets will be joined by radio. "We're experimenting with radio since it is definitely more direct response," Portet says. The markets are Chicago, San Francisco, New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, Houston and Washington, D.C.

While consumers usually place financial services just below about the airlines and just above tobacco companies in reputation studies, because of the current economic climate consumers are "incredibly engaged" in the messages from the business sector, Portet says. "We want to give them that extra nudge to take action," she says.

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