Online Brokerage Invests in Cable TV Relaunch

Marcus Creates Informational Spots for
DALLAS–Joining the financial face-off between online brokerages, will break a three-year, $10 million campaign this Monday to coincide with the relaunch of its Web site.
The Dallas-based company, a subsidiary of Southwest Securities, will run nine television spots per day for the next 16 months on CNBC, as well as print ads.
Marcus & Associates in Dallas developed four new television commercials for the client, each focusing on a different aspect of the online brokerage service.
The ads feature everyday characters describing the benefits of within their home environments. In one TV spot, two retirees play cards while discussing the free research and other “no-fee” services. In another ad, a young professional woman talks about the convenience of the downloadable software.
All four spots are gently humorous, as when one of the retirees sneaks repeated peaks at his friend’s cards throughout the testimonial.
“We are not as much a household name as Schwab and E-trade, so we needed spots that weren’t so ha-ha, split-your-sides funny, as real and informational,” said agency principal Melinda Marcus.
Previous advertising for, also by Marcus & Associates, focused simply on the company name, highlighted with primary colors and a jingle.
“As it turned out, we misread what the public was wanting. What they’re wanting is information, information, information,” said Bruce Zucker, president of The television campaign carries the tagline, “Your investments. Your way.”
The brokerage is also sponsoring an investment game on the Hoovers Web site and will sponsor a part of the PGA Tour.