CP+B Introduces ‘Schwab Intelligent Portfolios’ with AI Pitchman

By Erik Oster 

CP+B launched a new campaign for Charles Schwab introducing its “Schwab Intelligent Portfolios” with a artificial intelligence pitchman shaped like a blue square that comes across as vaguely creepy.

Something about the computer’s demeanor and tone can’t help but recall the homicidal calm of HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey (we’re not the only ones who think so either, as Adweek also noted the comparison) . “Hello, I am here to offer sophisticated investing strategies,” it says, introducing itself in the above “Hello.” The service apparently uses data and a complex algorithm to offer financial advice without the hassle or fees of a human financial adviser. Still, when the bot says “That may be hard to compute, but I’m a computer — trust me, it computes” the attempt at reassurance sounds more than a little menacing and you have to wonder whether there wasn’t a less creepy way to bring the technology to life. Thankfully, as pointed out in “Humans Available,” you can always still talk to a real human if you want to.

“We think Blue is anything but off-putting and did extensive research to validate the approach,” Jonathan Craig, chief marketing officer at Charles Schwab, told Adweek. “He is clever—intelligent, even—and to-the-point.”

Craig assured Adweek that the brand did not retire regular pitchman Charles Schwab and that he’d be back in the future. “He is a huge asset that embodies the values of the firm more than anyone, and he has a unique ability to connect with clients and prospects,” he said. “For the launch of Schwab Intelligent Portfolios, however, we wanted to take a unique approach that signaled the revolutionary nature of what we are offering.”


Client: Charles Schwab
Agency: CP+B, Los Angeles
Executive Creative Director: Sue Anderson
Creative Directors: Hoj Jomehri, Krista Wicklund
Associate Creative Directos: Gary Du Toit, Antonio Mercato, Jimbo Emery, Nicholas Loftus
Copywriter: Eric Scott
Art Director: Daniel Koo
Executive Integrated Producer: Darryl Hagans
Production Company: Digital Domain
Mixing: Lime Studios
Audio Engineer: Samuel Casas
Audio Engineer Assistant: Kevin McAlpone
Music: Ring the Alarm
Creative Directors: Daron Hollowell, Brent Nichols
Executive Producer: Jenny Hollowell
Executive Vice President, Managing Director: Mason Reed
Vice President, Group Account Director: Ryan Skubic
Content Management Supervisors: Fiorella Juarez, Charissa Kinney, Laura Cunningham
Content Manager: Kara Bergman
Vice President, Business Affairs Manager: Rebecca Williams
Cognitive Anthropologists: David Measer, Steven Garcia
Traffic Managers: Kelton Wright, Cati Coscuella