E-Commerce is about to return to the Tremendous Bowl after a scorching yr of retail funding

Still from E-Trade’s teaser for its Super Bowl spot


E-Trade will be running a Super Bowl ad for retail investors next month after a hot year.

The online broker, which was acquired by Morgan Stanley last year, has been known over the years for its humorous Super Bowl spots. The brand used a deeply speaking baby pitchman for their television commercials for years before “retiring” the baby in 2014. It was last advertised during the 2018 Super Bowl.

The teaser for the new spot, created with the advertising agency Interpublic Group of Cos. ‘MullenLowe does not contain a baby. But the short video shows a boy playing as “You’re The Best”, a song known from the movie “The Karate Kid”. The words “Kick your Finances in Form” will appear on the screen above the teaser. Although many brands choose to post their spots on social media before the game, e-trade items aren’t shown publicly until match day.

It came after E-Trade had had its big year of retail exposure and saw high levels of new entrants. Morgan Stanley in its fourth quarter earnings announcement last week said that E-Trade had a “remarkable 2020 with new records in all key metrics” and that the “unique backdrop” dramatically accelerated digital adoption and increased exposure. E-Trade saw record trading in the second quarter amid a broader retail boom.

Alice Milligan, director of marketing and digital for E-Trade, said the company relied on customer research and dialogue to figure out how to approach an ad in a year like this. She said e-trade-determined people had gone through numerous stages of emotion over the past year, looking for optimism and humor.

“One of the most striking things we’ve heard from investors, clients and prospects, is that they really want to be in control of their lives and finances, and many of us have felt pretty out of control for a long time,” said Milligan. “It’s time for people to feel a little better and in control. We hope that this way the ad will resonate.”

The Super Bowl will have an atypical ad campaign this year, with mainstays like Coke, Pepsi and Budweiser refusing to buy traditional ad time for the game. Meanwhile, a slew of new advertisers from Fiverr to Mercari are stepping in after a year at home pushing their businesses forward.

For e-trade, the value of a Super Bowl ad is still high.

“From a brand perspective, I think the Super Bowl is a great opportunity to bring a company’s brand to the consumers who are most relevant to that brand,” said Milligan. For e-trade, many of these consumers are investors who feel they can do better financially.

Andrea Zaretsky, E-Trade’s chief marketing officer, added that the majority of the emerging investors, traders and consumers the company aims to reach will be watching. However, the game spot itself is only part of the strategy. The brand plans a “full surround sound approach” including a targeted digital strategy before the game, during game day and after the game.

The Covid pandemic changed the production of the shoot, which is usually a big, multi-handed endeavor. Zaretsky said the on-site crew who shot the ad were much leaner, with a “very, very tight group.” However, the company decided to set up a video feed for the shoot for the first time.

“Everyone felt there,” she said. “More people felt able [to be there] for travel. I think the result was better in some ways. ”

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