TD Ameritrade advertising
Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
7 September 2017
TD Ameritrade Commercials
The power in TV commercials can vary. Sometimes they look to inform. Often they look to amuse. Many times they hope to raise awareness. Hopefully, they all want to persuade. What does TD Ameritrade do?
If you are the TD Ameritrade brand, you need to be credible and believable. And its new commercial series attempt to do just that.
“A financial services brand MUST be regarded as sincere. TD Ameritrade has tried to do this. But casting the wrong actor has cost it credibility.”
The new TD Ameritrade Campaign
This is a sound strategic plan. Attempting to position the TD Ameritrade brand as grounded in our reality. They convince us that TD Ameritrade sees the bigger picture. That only TD Ameritrade helps us plan for the immediate future as well as the distant future.
Look at one example from the series called Green room.
How the brand went wrong
On its surface, all seems good. It deftly melds a serious message with a light conversational tone. We are to think of the spokesperson as REAL. An honest financial advisor (even though it never claims that he is one). Someone who has density, clarity and empathy for our life situation. The whole tone is serious and thoughtful.
So, what’s the problem?
This is a highly successful actor and voiceover artist named Jim Conroy and we have seen and heard him many times before.
This familiarity causes the value of this brand development to suffer. Instead of believing in the sincerity of the brand we see artifice. A made for TV drama that speaks sleight of hand.
This is not what you are looking for as a trusted financial advisor
For TD Ameritrade, this IS a BIG deal. Jim is a believable actor. And well cast. Other than other than his familiarity. But the agency knew better. IT KNEW his history and popularity and cast him anyway.
Jim Conroy suffers from being recognizable. His strength as an actor resides in his interesting face. Too bad that’s why we remember him.
Look at this ad featuring Jim for AT&T
Here he is adding a voice over for Kraft Foods.
Was he their only choice?
He may have been a great choice for the TD Ameritrade commercial series but he was NOT the only choice. I think the agency settled for him because he could act the part. But context matters. Especially for TD Ameritrade. (Read about changing advertising agencies to fix your brand here.)
There is always a risk in commercial development. But no one can afford to squander money and time. This series could be great. But TD Ameritrade needs an agency with vision beyond the advertising. They need to see.
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