financial services

Merrill Lynch Launches $20 Million Effort

help 2 retire-guesswork

Bank of America Merrill Lynch is launching a $20 million marketing campaign focusing on retirement planning.

Themed "help2retire______" (read "help2retire blank"), the campaign encourages individuals to "fill in the blank" by identifying aspects of their working and financial lives that they want to put an end to and to focus on what matters most when planning for and during their retirement years.

Justine Metz, head of marketing for retirement and philanthropic services at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, says the number one savings goal for most people is retirement.

"What we heard loud and clear is that people are cautiously optimistic, but they need planning help," Metz tells Marketing Daily. "So we launched the help2 campaign. It's a natural evolution to speak to them now about how do we help them to retire."



The difficult economy has prompted people to rethink how they want to spend their retirement, she says. "It's less about symbols of status and more about how you spend your time. People are personalizing that. What the 'blank' in the campaign does is personalize this for you. And each person fills in the blank very differently."

The campaign runs through April. It includes two 30-second TV spots and between 5 and 10 print executions. The "help2" campaign will continue to evolve throughout 2010, Metz says. "You will see retirement continue to be a core platform throughout the year," she adds.

TV will run on broadcast network and national cable programming, including on Bloomberg TV, The Golf Channel and CBS College Sports during the 2010 NCAA basketball regular season and conference championships, as well as across radio and "out-of-home" marketing channels.

The campaign will also appear in print and online daily and weekly publications and trade magazines, including The Wall Street Journal, Barron's, Fortune, Golf Magazine, Food & Wine, Kiplinger's, The New York Times, The Economist, Investor's Business Daily, Financial Planning and InvestmentNews.

The theme of the new "help2retire______" campaign builds on an ongoing Merrill Lynch Wealth Management "help2" campaign, first launched in October 2009 and designed to demonstrate a commitment to delivering personalized, insightful financial advice, along with a broad platform of financial solutions, to help clients pursue their financial goals.

The new campaign reflects results from the latest Merrill Lynch Affluent Insights Quarterly survey, released Jan. 14, which found that roughly half (51%) of retired respondents would have focused more on their 'life goals' and less on 'the numbers' when planning for retirement if they could do it all again. These respondents indicated that they would have spent more time determining how they wanted to live in their retirement years (38%) and based their retirement income needs not just on a number that would sustain them, but on one that would help them live their ideal lifestyle during these years (13%).

An integrated team of agencies, led by Hill Holliday, worked with Bank of America to develop the new creative.

Some examples of the creative include "help2retire Guesswork: Do you have a plan for your income needs in retirement? A Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor can explain how the Merrill Lynch Retirement Income Service could help.: Another example is "help2retire Confusion: Having trouble deciding whether a Roth IRA conversion is right for you? A Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor can explain the potential benefits and help you determine if one is a good fit for your long-term strategy. Additional examples include: help2retire Rush Hour, help2retire The Routine, help2retire Long Hours, help2retire The 6 AM Train and help2retire 9 to 5.

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