E-Trade announced last month that the brand is skipping the 2014 Super Bowl. E-Trade Senior VP Rich Muhlstock explained the decision, noting: “Over the years, E-Trade has built phenomenal brand recognition…. Now we are sharpening our focus on key prospects and existing customers.”
This is not a surprising move. E-Trade is going after a fairly narrow group of investors and there are cheaper ways to reach them than advertising on the Super Bowl.
E-Trade ran ads during the last seven Super Bowls and the Kellogg Super Bowl Advertising Review panel evaluated E-Trade each year. The brand did very well. It received 3 As, 2 Bs and 2 Cs. This is a huge accomplishment. It is not easy to create advertising year after year that works so well.
E-Trade did what successful Super Bowl advertisers need to do: break through the clutter and deliver a message. By sticking with the baby, E-Trade quickly established brand recognition. A talking baby means the ad is from E-Trade.
E-Trade shifted the message over time. One ad promoted its high interest rate on savings accounts, another discussed low fees and another focused on simplicity. The strategy changed while the creative idea remained. This approach worked well.
I’ll miss seeing the E-Trade talking baby during the Super Bowl this year but I would not be surprised to see it back in 2015.
Here are two of E-Trade’s best Super Bowl spots: