Munder Takes Edgy Approach for Internet Fund

Yaffe & Co. is taking an unusual approach in a new campaign for Munder Capital Management with creative that warns people away from one of the investment company’s products.

The print campaign, which broke late last month in The Wall Street Journal, is promoting Munder’s riskiest ever Internet mutual fund, which is called @Vantage, said Michael Morin, Yaffe executive vice president of ac-count services.

In the ad, a frantic Pac-Man like character warns that the fund is not for the “namby-pamby, lily-livered, scaredy cat.” The ads also include a disclaimer—framed to appear like the government-required warnings on cigarette ads—that reads: “Investors who are weak-kneed, incessant nail biters, prone to fainting spells or dizziness, tend to stay up at night worrying, or have serious qualms, hysteria or neurosis should not consider this fund.”

Unlike Munder’s NetNet Internet fund (which can only invest 15 percent of its assets in untested companies), the @Vantage fund is able to invest up to 40 percent of total assets in small, untested, private companies.

“Our approach is to shout the warning to the reader,” Morin said. “Yes, this is a high-risk fund. But it has potentially high yields.”

Taking an edgy approach was a good way to differentiate the Birmingham, Mich.-based Munder from other investment companies offering similar high-risk, high-return funds, Morin said.

The Troy, Mich., agency has created three executions which will also run in Barron’s, USA Today and The New York Times.

The National Association of Securities Dealers regulatory board has applauded the campaign’s prominent display of risk, Morin said.

The ad encourages consumers to call their financial advisers to find out more about the fund. The @Vantage Fund is only sold through brokers and consumers need a minimum of $10,000 to invest.

A direct mail campaign handled by Xplane, St. Louis, with input from Yaffe will drop this month targeting the financial advisers, he said.