CHICAGO-OgilvyOne is applying tactics popular with deep-discount retailers to take AmeriTrade Holding Corp. into the deep-discount securities brokerage arena.
The Omaha, Neb.-based company last week launched its Ameritrade brokerage service with a multimedia campaign focused on a price point that Kmart would appreciate: $8.
Television, print, radio and Internet advertising positions Ameritrade as providing the lowest flat fees for stock transactions: $8 for online trades, $12 for touch-tone phone trades and $18 with broker assistance. Print ads highlight the low online fee with headlines such as "Get into Club Med for $8" and "Buy a major Hollywood studio for $8."
Print and direct response TV spots also mention the additional incentive of no commissions for the first five trades. The campaign tagline is, "Smartest way to trade. Period."
"The strategy was to focus not only on the ease of making trades online and the lowest-price positioning but also the thrill investors get in making a good investment and saving money," said Janet Horn, senior partner and director of client services at OgilvyOne (formerly Ogilvy & Mather Direct) here. It anchored development of the campaign, with assistance from other O&M units: A. Eicoff & Co. here created the direct response spots; OgilvyOne Interactive Services in New York handled Internet banner ads; and O&M in New York handled network and print media buying.
Ameritrade president Michael Anderson said the company will spend $20 million over the next 12 months with its first media expansion beyond direct marketing. "If you'd told me two years ago we'd advertise during Suddenly Susan, I'd have said you were crazy," he said.
The $8 positioning "provides an opportunity to pull investors from the discount and full-service brokerages and to expand the [market] by appealing to those who haven't been investors" because they are intimidated by brokerages, Anderson said.
Following the Ameritrade launch, Fidelity Investments, the second-largest securities broker behind Charles Schwab Co., last week said it would lower fees to a flat commission of $14.95 for trades through its Internet site.