Merkley Spells Out E-Loan’s Advantage

NEW YORK Merkley + Partners today broke two new TV spots for E-Loan as part of a national campaign that also includes radio and Web ads.

The new work continues to use the “Radically simple” tagline that the Omnicom Group shop introduced last year in its first effort for the online lender.

The Pleasanton, Calif.-based client hired the New York shop last spring on a project basis, and Merkley has now become lead creative agency on the brand. “The initial campaign [in 2005] really did distinquish us with consumers,” said client chief marketing officer Catherine Muriel, explaining the shift from projects to a retainer relationship. “We were so pleased with the work.”

Interpublic Group’s Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos of Boston handles media duties. Major media spending on the brand last year was close to $40 million, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

The new spots, including a third that breaks in early July, will run on national and local cable TV, and the four radio ads will be heard on national stations. Previous radio ads ran in spot markets. Merkley, for the first time, also is developing Web ads that play off of the TV spots, Muriel said.

One spot depicts a homeowner quickly trimming the shrubs in front of his suburban home to spell “E-Loan” as neighbors and passing joggers look on. In another spot, E-Loan T-shirts fly onto yards and into homes like newspapers before a final shot reveals a thirtysomething couple flinging the shirts via a giant rubber-band contraption.

The third spot, “Windows,” which breaks in July, shows a guy scrambling from floor to floor inside an office building, selectively flicking on light switches. From outside the building, his efforts reveal the word “E-Loan” in florescent lights.

The characters portray brand “evangelists” who spread the word about its commitment to a simple, straightforward process, said Muriel, who described the 2006 campaign as “a little more forcible” and “demonstrative” with “more action.”