McCann Touts Citi-Salomon In 2-Tier Effort

McCann-Erickson is launching a two-pronged campaign for Salomon Smith Barney backed by $50 million that hails the newly merged entity as a safe harbor in the volatile world of online trading.
The first phase, with two spots breaking this week, is a $10 million business-to-business effort touting the merger of the investment firm’s banking services with corporate banking at Citibank. The combination permits investors to make substantial deals normally associated with Salomon through Citibank, said Jonathan Cranin, evp, executive creative director at McCann.
The TV spots were shot by the experimental French director Michel Gondry of Partizan Entertainment. One ad features turbulent water and a concrete dam, visualizing the notion of two elements combining to create a more powerful entity. The tagline: “Because we can, you can.”
The second phase, aimed at consumers, touts the brokerage firm in a series of six TV spots set to break Oct. 18. The campaign will target those who are likely to sink $100,000 to a million dollars into investments.
Salomon positions itself in this effort as a full-service provider of financial advice and emphasizes that it is critical to work with an experienced broker, rather than gamble on the Web.
“The spots are issue specific and very actionable,” said Cranin. “You look at it and the response is, holy shit, I can’t do this alone.”
Billings on the latter effort were undisclosed; Salomon spent $38 million in 1998. Its last effort was the “Let’s Get to Work” campaign from McCann, with the tag, “Success is earned.”