At Long Last, BBDO Airs Schwab Ads

Image Work Delayed, a Victim of the Client’s Online Success
NEW YORK–Charles Schwab & Co. wants consumers to see the discount brokerage as an investment partner in a new image campaign from BBDO.
The consumer effort has been on hold for several months because the client, pleased with its documentary-style testimonials for from Partners & Simons in Boston, did not want to clutter the airwaves with a second message. The P&S campaign will now fade into the background.
BBDO’s three spots–a product of the more than $185 million that sources estimate Schwab will spend on ads this year–aim to show how useful and reassuring the brokerage is to existing customers.
“People tend to think of Schwab as a transactional, value-oriented proposition. In fact, our customers know we represent a fundamentally better way to [invest],” said Len Short, executive vice president, advertising and brand management at Schwab.
The first two spots, which broke last week, are darkly humorous. One features an airline pilot preoccupied with his investments when he should be readying for takeoff. Another shows a doctor worrying his broker has led him astray when he should be prepping a woman for surgery. The tagline: “Ready to move up?”
The spots, developed under BBDO chief creative officer Ted Sann and senior executive creative director Charlie Miesmer, have been anticipated since the New York shop beat Wieden & Kennedy, TBWA/Chiat/Day and Foote, Cone & Belding for the business last June.
Schwab leads the market for online trading, ahead of E*Trade, Waterhouse and DLJ Direct.