Doner Blitzes ‘Sandwich Generation’ of Boomers

After a two-year break from broadcast, Scudder Investments returns to television with a month-long ad blitz aimed at baby boomers burdened with questions about the future.
The campaign, from Doner Direct, is designed “to be as interruptive as possible,” said Howard Schneider, director of marketing at Scudder Kemper Investments in Boston. Doner Direct is based in Southfield, Mich., while the Scudder account is serviced by Doner’s Baltimore office.
Scudder intends to put a good chunk of its media budget behind a TV, print and radio schedule that begins today and runs through May 15 in eight markets, including Los Angeles, New York, Boston and Chicago. TV spots will air on cable, primarily news, financial and sports channels; print appears in financial publications and USA Today. The company spent $30 million last year, per Competitive Media Reporting.
The work in part is aimed at the so-called “sandwich generation,” those baby boomers who financially support college-age children and elderly parents. TV spots take their cue from print with a voiceover that asks questions common to the target: “What if you want to stop working for a living? What if your kid gets into Harvard? What if your mother needs long-term care?”
One spot shows a businessman on the wing of a 747 in the desert, pacing as he considers such queries. Another ad has a woman sitting on a bench in a field, as a college building looms over her shoulder. The tagline, which has been running in print for about a year, is “Be ready.”
The idea was to catch the eye of viewers with the striking juxtaposed settings, said Scott Rasmussen, executive vice president and creative director at Doner. “It’s certainly not meant to be a fear strategy; it’s reality based,” Rasmussen said.
Ads focus on people, not the product, although print includes return rate data. The point is to get people in their 30s and 40s thinking about financial advice, not the lure of riches.
“This is not a campaign showing, ‘You invest with us, you’re on the Hawaiin Islands or playing golf,’ ” Schneider said. “We’re not presenting a far-fetched situation.”