Looking to deepen its online marketing efforts, E*Trade has added SS+K to its roster of agencies.
SS+K in New York will focus in particular on the brand's use of social media to engage consumers. Ogilvy & Mather remains E*Trade's lead creative agency. The brand spent about $110 million in media last year, including $39 million online, according to Kantar Media.
The hire reunites Rich Muhlstock, E*Trade's svp of branding and acquisition with SS+K president Bradley Kay. From 1998 to 2000, Muhlstock was vp of advertising and promotions at the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, whose lead agency was Merkley + Partners. At the time, Kay was an executive at Merkley.
Beyond the past connection, Muhlstock was impressed with SS+K's past work for Honest Tea and the Obama presidential campaign. In a statement, he explained that as "consumers continue to shift their relationships with brands into ever-more diverse channels, including social and mobile, we need innovative strategies to reach and engage them."
Muhlstock, who joined E*Trade in October, added that SS+K "brings a unique brand of creativity and seasoned perspective that's deeply rooted in consumer behavior and culture."
E*Trade hired the New York office of Ogilvy in July. The WPP Group shop succeeded sister agency Grey, which created the E*Trade Baby and had worked on the brand for six years. Ogilvy's first new campaign is expected later this month, with SS+K's first work likely appearing in May.