E*Trade Boosts Marketing Budget

CHICAGO E*Trade Financial will double its marketing expenditure this year behind the first work from new agency Martin/Williams, the company said on Thursday.

The San Francisco-based online financial services concern will spend more than $90 million on marketing this year, an increase of $45 million, according to Pam Kramer, chief marketing officer for the company. The budget will be evenly split between advertising and below-the-line chores, she said.

The ad campaign kicks off today with two TV spots from the Minneapolis-based Omnicom Group agency and introduces the theme, “Why on earth wouldn’t you?” Ads tout a mutual fund rebate and transferable mortgage rates.

In the spot for the 12b-1 Mutual Fund Rebate, a man runs down the street carrying a purse. The spot then cuts to a woman who appears to be chasing him. As the chase continues, the woman gets on a bus and it’s revealed that the man is chasing the woman to give her the purse. As he tosses the purse to her, a voiceover by Kevin Bacon says, “People aren’t used to getting money, but once they do, they like it.”

The second spot, touting E*Trade’s Mortgage on the Move product, depicts people moving into a suburban neighborhood. As neighbors watch the new residents unload creepy twins, dirt bikers, killer bees and alligators, they conclude that it’s time to move. The voiceover says E*Trade has a product that allows people to take their low mortgage rates with them as they move. Again, the voice over asks, “Why on earth wouldn’t you?”

The ads break on Bravo, CNBC, CNN, Fox and USA Network. They will also air during the NCAA basketball tournament throughout March.

E*Trade spent $35 million on advertising in 2002, but only $15 million through October of last year, according the TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.