Fidelity Breaks Roth IRA Campaign

Hill, Holliday Tries Humor in Ads for a Usually Staid Client
BOSTON–Humor and personality, attributes not generally associated with Fidelity Investments, are the hallmarks of a new campaign from Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos here.
Breaking this week are two commercials that promote the company’s new Roth IRA investment product under the theme, “Retire with more.” Fidelity is one of the first out of the gate with ads for the new Roth IRAs; a flood from competitors is expected.
One spot opens with the caption, “A message from the future.” A character the client calls “Future Man” appears. Sensing viewers’ doubts about the caption’s veracity, he says, “No, really ” and holds up a calendar showing the date as 2028. “I just thought you’d like to know how a few things have worked out,” he continues. His news, however, is interrupted by a robotic voice off-screen, which says: “Time to feed dog!” After Future Man details how well his Fidelity Roth IRA has performed, it is revealed that the voice is coming from Future Man’s pet dog. “Dog! Time to feed dog!” the mutt insists. The “Where 12 million investors put their trust” tag is retained.
A 60-second spot features a son-in-law responding to questions from his father-in-law about his retirement plans by cribbing his answers from a Fidelity ad on the back of a newspaper being held by the older man.
Print ads, slated to run in business magazines and major metropolitan dailies, also feature Future Man.
Fidelity has had difficulty settling on a creative direction. It axed the “It’s time” theme, created by Houston Herstek Favat, Boston, when Hill, Holliday picked up the account in mid-1996. Hill, Holliday’s first corporate spot was a staid affair featuring employee testimonials about the company. One creative director at the agency said of the new work, “It’s getting better.”
“I’m very happy” with how the relationship with Hill, Holliday is progressing, said Steve Cone, president of the customer marketing and development unit of Fidelity’s Personal Investments and Brokerage Group.
According to Competitive Media Reporting, Fidelity spent $84 million on ads in the first 11 months of 1997.