In a desperate bid to restore its failing fortunes, online broker E*Trade has decided to splash out on two thirty-second advertisements to air during Super Bowl XLI, the coveted prime commercial spot on American TV.
E*Trade says it has augmented its 2008 marketing spend by 30% over 2007, as it looks to restore consumer faith in its brand, which has been badly dented by the subprime crisis.
The Superbowl ads alone will cost the broker at least $5 million, but will give it prime-time exposure to a nationwide audience of approximately 90 million viewers.
Sadly, E*Trade appears to be taking this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity a little too seriously. Apparently its campaign will seek to convey E*Trade’s "overall customer experience" and highlight "how the company liberates self-directed investors by providing
innovative and easy-to-use products, such as high-yield savings".
E*Trade should take a tip from FedEx, which in 2005 devised an
ad which parodied the typical SuperBowl commercial. The ingredients include a celebrity, a cute kid, a dancing bear that talks, and the "optional" product message.
That dancing bear would be particularly poignant.