ETrade is introducing a new series of "Talking Baby" ads, including a spot that will debut during the Super Bowl, featuring a fresh tot.
The two premiere ads break during NFL playoff games on Jan. 16 -- the first during the NFC divisional playoffs on Fox, the second during the AFC divisional playoff game on CBS. A third spot will debut on CBS during Super Bowl XLIV Feb. 7. A total of five new spots will be a central component of a multifaceted marketing communications program that spans traditional and social media throughout 2010, per the company.
ETrade will also debut its animated "Product/Laptop" solution series campaign to complement the "Baby" series. The first in this sequence kicks off on Fox during the NFC divisional playoff game on Jan. 16. The combined campaigns are designed to appeal to a widespread audience while targeting new business growth for the core retail franchise.
Grey New York -- ETrade's AOR since 2007 -- created the campaign, which will run on TV, print and online.
The campaign is an evolution of the company's marketing message that it can "liberate investors from big, expensive brokers." The 2008 launch of the ETrade baby was intended to communicate a "wise beyond his years" perspective on how to be a liberated investor, while the 2009 campaign emphasized being in tune with the changing economy. The 2010 campaign, with a new cast of babies, builds on the "liberation and value" message and focuses on how ETrade can help consumers better manage their investing goals and needs.
"Of course, the reality is that babies do grow up, and therefore advertisers run out of footage, opening the door for a fresh personality," stated Nicholas A. Utton, ETrade chief marketing officer.
To maximize the Super Bowl investment, ETrade will utilize social media, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. On Facebook, the eTrade brand currently has more than 18,000 fans and more than 12,000 fans of the baby. Over 3,000 Twitter users follow the baby's tweets, and there have been 19 million+ total views of the baby and over 10,000 subscribers on YouTube.
The new spots already have one critic, Adrants publisher Steve Hall. "Sadly, there's nothing special about these commercials," Hall writes on the Web site. "The shtick is getting old. Even the baby's 'shocked face' is lame. The creators could have at least had a little more fun morphing the little guy's face into something that actually resembled shock. Hopefully, the Super Bowl version of this campaign is an improvement."