Stockbroker Divides Assignments, Rewards GSD&M and Martin
DALLAS--Charles Schwab & Co. ended its month-long agency search with a split decision. The stockbroker has assigned its $30 million mutual funds account to GSD&M and a $10 million women's marketing initiative to The Martin Agency.
Both agencies will handle creative and media planning on their respective accounts. Schwab's lead agency, BBDO in New York, will be responsible for media buying.
Other agencies that made final presentations to the client were Lowe Lintas & Partners of New York and TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif.
The pitch team from Austin, Texas-based GSD&M was led by Deborah Cavanagh, the agency's recently named vice president of new business.
The finalists made 90-minute capability presentations March 28 in San Francisco. After a client briefing and question-and-answer session, Schwab assigned creative projects to the four finalists.
The mutual funds assignment was designed for the purpose of demonstrating "big thinking," according to Cavanagh, and did not include co-op or retail advertising. The more tightly focused assignment for the women's initiative was to deliver strategic positioning and creative targeted to female consumers with investable assets of more than $100,000.
"[Schwab} spent a tremendous amount of time with each agency," said Cavanagh. "We started smart thanks to Schwab and ended up being able to deliver on some work that will be valuable to building the brand."
Martin Agency president John Adams praised the work of lead shop BBDO, saying, "One of the psychological moves our creative department made early in the review was that we embraced the BBDO work and pretended that we created that campaign, and asked what we would do next under that creative umbrella."
Both agencies are happy to add the prestigious name of Schwab, a company which pioneered the discount brokerage business in 1974, to their rosters.
GSD&M president Roy Spence said he saw a connection between Schwab and other agency clients, including Southwest Airlines and Wal-Mart, which have provided low-cost alternatives to traditional services.
"They've already got great mutual fund positioning," Spence said. "What they want now is to bring it to life." K