D.A. Davidson & Co. Retirement Planning

If scare tactics easily worked, people would be doing a better job of saving for retirement. Countless financial-service ads have tried to prey on our anxieties about the matter. Through it all, Americans have remained resolute in failing to save enough. So, let us applaud D.A. Davidson for seeing if a parody of scare tactics can jolly us out of our improvidence. Caption for the inset photo of the upturned hat: “Play your accordion for fun, not profit.” Another caption notes, “Hospitals don’t take coupons.” Since you probably don’t expect to end up as a hobo, you’re less likely to flinch from the ad’s discussion of retirement planning. Body copy plays it straight, noting sensibly that “professional advice can help you avoid common pitfalls.” At other moments, though, it’s merely dull. For instance: “We’ve been the leaders in wealth management for more than 65 years and are experts in retirement planning.” It’s not that we want uninterrupted hilarity from the ad; we don’t want to entrust our life savings to a bunch of comedians. But when the text falls into conventional puffery, the ad forfeits the distinctive élan its clever photos and captions had generated.

Agency: Wendt Kochman, Great Falls, Mont.
Client: D.A. Davidson & Co., Great Falls, Mont.
Creative Director: James Ford
Art Director: Joseph Stein
Copywriter: Jeff Jurevic
Photography: Dean Davis