R/GA New York Challenges You to a Kevin Spacey Staring Contest for E*Trade

By Erik Oster 

R/GA New York launched a new campaign for E*Trade starring Kevin Spacey, who challenges viewers to a staring contest.

Spacey returns for the brand after a brief absence and R/GA certainly uses him in an unexpected way here. The effort includes three 15-second spots shot on-location at Newark Symphony Hall in Newark, New Jersey. In the first, Spacey tells viewers “E*Trade is all about seizing opportunities,” before adding that its viewers’ opportunity to get into a staring contest with him. In the second ad, his eyes may be watering, but he ensures viewers those are sympathy tears. In the final effort, Spacey calls the contest in his own favor. The ads will grab attention for their unexpected and irreverent use of the veteran actor but we’re not sure exactly what they have to do with E*Trade. Sure, Spacey provides a flimsy justification in the initial effort, but the second ad doesn’t appear to have any branding at all and the final effort is limited to the brand’s logo at its conclusion.


Client: E*Trade
Kyle Okimoto: Head of Marketing
Rich Muhlstock: COO Marketing,  SVP Branding & Acquisition
Wylie Kain: VP, Head of Branding
Evan Katz: Senior Marketing Manager


Agency: R/GA, New York
Nick Law: Global CCO
Taras Wayner: SVP, ECD
Michael Lowenstern: VP, Digital Advertising
Lee Margolis: Executive Creative Director
Steve Giraldi & Peter Unger: Assoc Creative Directors
Andrea Messer & Jason Burke: Sr. Art Dir. & Copywriter
Kat Friis: Group Director, Film Production
Brian Schierman: Sr. Film Producer
Michael Stoopack: Managing Director
Julie DeAngelis: Account Director
James Hogan: Account Supervisor
Emily Chen: Campaign Producer
Stephen Bernstein: Director, Business Affairs
Maureen Doyle: Business Affairs
Mairead Murray, Coordinator, Business Affairs
Dylan Viner: Group Strategy Director
Amy McEwan: Strategist

Production: Radical Media, New York
Steve Miller: Director
Frank Scherma & Gregg Carlesimo: Executive Producers
Frank Dituri: HOP
Matt O’Shea: Line Producer

Editorial: Cutting Room, NY
Merritt Duff: Editor
Megan Katuran: Assist Editor
Melissa Lubin: Exec Producer

Post: Light of Day, NY
Colin Stackpole: Executive Producer
Pete DeAndrea: Flame Artist

Audio: Sonic Union, NY
Michael Marinelli: Audio Engineer
Justine Cortale: Sr. Producer

Shot on Location at Newark Symphony Hall, Newark, New Jersey