has entered a highly strategic mode, delegating its resources carefully and shaking off the chaff. Nonetheless, there is one thing the firm is prepared to spend some money on: an ad campaign highlighting the firm's track record in rocky financial climates.
Television ads got off to a start last night at the Academy Awards, in a spot featuring Charles Schwab
himself answering investors' questions. The ad may have had a cinema verite quality, as many actors have lost more than a bid for a gold statuette.
"It was really inspiring to watch Chuck engage with these actors as
real-life investors," says Peter Deluca
, vice president of advertising. "He
was very reassuring."
As trading volumes shrivel, Schwab, like many others, sees a boom in the advice business. The firm is now ready to make a serious play for that sector of the market. Although Schwab has a brand name which is strongly recognized among consumers, many of those consumers don't turn to Schwab for advice.
"Our advertising has lagged because we don't want to overpromise," said David Pottruck
, president and co-chief executive officer. "I think it's time for our advertising to speak to [the capability of Schwab to provide unconflicted advice to our clients]."
Pottruck also emphasized that the firm is well positioned to serve baby boomers who need advice.
"Our clients are baby boomers," Pottruck said. "They're comfortable with technology but also like the idea that people ar ethere to help them. Our ability to be the best of both worlds is what our business model is all about. Schwab is the brand built around the preferences of baby boomers."
The advertising will include the "Smart Answers" print campaign, again featuring Charles Schwab. Another version highlights an investment specialist and senior branch manager.
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