A knot of pinstriped surfers dump their boards in Trahan, Burden & Charles' latest television commercial for The Wall Street Journal Online account.
"There was a time when surfing all the different business Web sites was cool," says the voiceover. "But that was yesterday. Today, you need a single source you can trust—The Wall Street Journal Online."
Tagged "The time to surf is over," 30- and 60-second versions of the spot are appearing through the fourth quarter on national cable channels such as CNBC, MSNBC, Comedy Central, ESPN and Fox News. Additional flights will appear in 2002.
"There are over 240 business [publication] Web sites, but research indicates that people are having less patience surfing for critical information," said Allan Charles, chief creative officer at the Baltimore shop.
Charles said his goal was to capitalize on that one point without coming off as dry or educational.
TB&C executive vice president and account supervisor Alan Reisberg said professionals in their 20s and early 30s tend to bypass The Wall Street Journal, preferring instead to get their information online.
"We heard consumers talking about credibility on the Internet," Reisberg said. "Our strategy was to create awareness of the product and push the WSJ-Dow Jones equity."
The surfboard is used as a device to link the youth of the target demo with the maturity of the newspaper's traditional readers—professionals over 40.
"You'd think this image would have been used before, but ithasn't," Reisberg told Adweek.
Created by copywriter Alex Slotkin and art director Jason Middleton, "Surfboards" was produced through Charles Street Films, a subsidiary of TB&C. The ad was filmed on the streets of Baltimore.
"It's a likable spot," Reisberg said. "Not edgy dot-com stuff,but consistent with the client'spersonality."