Foliofn Invests in First TV Ads

Partners & Simons has returned to the financial services niche in a big way, launching a $10-20 million campaign for Foliofn.

The client, which tapped the Boston shop some weeks ago, provides Partners & Simons with its most visible national showcase since the agency’s output for Charles Schwab & Co.’s online investment unit began to fall off as the 1990s drew to a close.

The Foliofn launch, coupled with the agency’s recent nCipher win (see page 7), constitutes something of a comeback for the 30-person shop.

“We’re not doing anything differently than we’ve done to prosper our business or advance our way of working,” said agency president Tom Simons. “You go through periods of time when you get lucky and periods of time when you’re not so lucky. This is one of those lucky times.”

Ads for Foliofn are meant to build awareness for “a better way to invest,” said company vice president of marketing Steve Cohen.

One 30-second spot begins with founder and CEO Steve Wallman walking through the world of online investing, where people pick stocks one at a time and play a guessing game. Four 15-second spots, also featuring Wallman, focus on the benefits of using Foliofn. Ads use the tagline “Stop guessing. Start investing.”

“Financial services is a business about relationships and trust,” Co-hen said of the company’s decision to feature Wallman in its ads. “At the same time, online companies are oftentimes nameless and faceless to consumers. We wanted to put a face to Foliofn.”

The Vienna, Va., company is targeting active traders looking to buy whole portfolios of stock and trade them for a flat fee, and those who want to own individual stocks but don’t want to pick them one by one, Cohen said. Print ads, also featuring Wallman, began appearing in the past few weeks in publications such as Forbes, Fortune and Scientific American.