Ameritrade Looks Good Amid Bad Ideas

NEW YORK OgilvyOne launches a new Ameritrade campaign today that attempts to show the value of real-time information along with flat pricing for independent investors.

The Omaha, Neb.-based brokerage plans to spend $80-120 million on the campaign, an Ameritrade representative said.

One 60- and three 30-second spots humorously demonstrate how the special offers Ameritrade makes available to customers are not easily applied elsewhere. In the first 30-second ad, a chattering man blithely takes the longest taxi ride much to the chagrin of the driver. “Flat prices—great for Ameritrade customers, not so great for taxi drivers,” a narrator notes, touting the company’s $10.99 flat price for trades.

In another spot, the Ameritrade five-second guarantee provides tremendous benefits for investors who depend on quality execution for their trades. But that same five-second guarantee employed in a fine-dining restaurant setting translates into chaos, as diners face a live lobster crawling on a plate and a frozen steak. “A good idea for investors⤔a bad idea for customers of the food service industry,” the narrator says.

“There’s a lot of bad ideas out there for investors,” said Anne Nelson, chief marketing officer at Ameritrade. “More than ever, these individuals are looking for an active, committed partner helping them navigate the ebbs and flows of today’s increasingly complex markets, by providing the right tools, information and technology. Ameritrade is intent on bringing them this value.”

Its recent summer 2003 campaign was intended to emphasize Ameritrade’s simple and transparent pricing structure of “no order handling fees, no per share limits, which can drive up commissions at other brokerages considerably,” the Ameritrade representative said.

The New York agency’s four spots will air on various cable networks including CNBC, CNN, MSNBC and ESPN. In addition, print and online ads will launch concurrently.