NEW YORK E*Trade, which spent $85 million in U.S. media in the first half of this year, has added independent agency StrawberryFrog to its creative roster, sources said.
Omnicom Group's BBDO in New York serves as the client's lead agency; Agency.com handles interactive work.
E*Trade initially contacted StrawberryFrog and Omnicom's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco last month about pitching against BBDO for a Super Bowl-related project, per sources. StrawberryFrog and BBDO presented ideas, with the former being added to the roster. Both agencies are developing work that could run on the Super Bowl, sources said.
The online trading services company said it has not purchased any time on the upcoming broadcast in February.
"We have no plans for advertising on the Super Bowl at this time, but that could change as we get closer," said Connie Dotson, a representative at E*Trade.
She declined to comment on StrawberryFrog's addition to the roster, saying only, "BBDO is our lead agency."
Representatives at BBDO and Goodby declined comment. StrawberryFrog did not return calls.
E*Trade spent $140 million in U.S. media in 2005, per TNS Media Intelligence.
The client is no stranger to Super Bowl audiences. It bought time in the game in 2000, 2001 and 2002—and in more recent years, has sponsored half-time entertainment.
E*Trade's most famous Super Bowl efforts ran in 2000 and 2001, and both were created by Goodby. In the first spot, a chimp danced on a chair while self-referential on-screen text read, "We just wasted $2 million bucks. What are you doing with your money?"
The chimp returned the next year in a commercial that showed the creature surveying the wreckage of a Western-style ghost town that was meant to convey the dot.com bust.
BBDO's current campaign, "Be extraordinary," has used 1960s rock music and targeted first-wave baby boomers.