Chuck Gets It

November 16, 2006

Larry points us to Slate where Seth Stevenson gives an Ad Report Card for the new “animated-reality” TV ads that Charles Schwab is using to announce their lower pricing structure. This article provides an in depth anatomy of an ad and is also a great example of targeting your message to an audience (men w/impotent anger who are upset at how their money is being managed). It even goes a level deeper and uses the media in a way that creates the right effect on this market segment (the ads leave you with a disrupted feeling — it could really push the target audience into taking action). Kudos to Austin-based GSD&M for a kickin’ strategy and execution. Well played. Quick things I love about these ads:

  • The “Talk to Chuck” slogan. For the exact same reasons Slate points out. Saw it on a big billboard in Chicago and fell in love with it.
  • The fact that for research Schwab created a “clutter reel” assembled of the bad advertising that is prevalent in financial services space (Adirondack chairs, sailboats, etc.).
  • The strategic match up of a targeted message and a targeted media

The only thing they missed? Putting these sticky ads on their website. Cadillac and Snickers have this figured out. If you’ve created a remarkable, clutter-cutting ad that’s getting some press and people want to watch it, shouldn’t they go to your site to do it …?

P.S. If you find a link to the Schwab ads, send it to me and I’ll post it.

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is a strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Brand Now: How to Stand Out in a Crowded, Distracted World and Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He is the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, an educator at the University of Iowa, and host of the On Brand podcast. More about Nick.