ING Breaks U.S. Ads

Jordan McGrath Case & Partners launches a new brand-awareness campaign for ING Group today.

The effort, budgeted at $20-30 million, marks the first work in the United States for the cli ent, a financial-services company. It includes two 30-second spots, the first of which will air tonight on ABC and NBC.

The commercial opens with a man walking his dog in a city park. As he nears a bench on which people are sitting, he notices the letters ING are exposed on the bench’s back. A montage of shots showing different people sitting on the bench follows.

Thinking ING is a word, the fellow asks an elderly woman standing nearby, “You have any idea what that says?” She responds, “ING.” “Do you know what’s before it?” he asks, but she doesn’t respond. Finally, he looks at the bench and shouts in confusion, “What’s that say?”

The second spot, which is set to break later this year, features a similar story line with an actor trying to discover what ING means.

The tagline: “It’s not an ending, it’s a beginning.”

Amsterdam, Netherlands-based ING, which has an office in Atlanta, is a well-established brand in Europe but unknown in the U.S., explained Rochelle Klein, vice chairman/chief creative officer at New York-based JMCP.

“They want to in troduce themselves as a new player in the financial industry and get their name across,” she said, adding that the client wanted “a lighthearted message” to achieve this goal.

Klein noted that ING wants to compete in the U.S. with financial companies such as Charles Schwab, Merrill Lynch and Citigroup.

The target audience is men and women ages 35 and older with incomes exceeding $60,000 per year.

Both spots will run until the end of the year. Print ads, which use similar creative, are also in the mix and break in The Wall Street Journal and USA Today tomorrow, and in financial trade magazines in June.

ING offers services such as retirement and financial plans, annuities, insurance, mortgages and asset management. The company’s global revenue for 2000 was $72 billion.

JMCP won the estimated $50 million U.S. business in November after a review, beating out TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif., and Euro RSCG Tatham in Chicago, sources said.