Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Is it time to ditch the E*Trade baby?


An article in last week’s Bloomberg Businessweek starts out by saying: “Quirky TV ads have made E*Trade Financial famous but have done little to help pitch its functional appeal to investors.” Hmm.

The article goes on to say that while the baby has increased brand recognition since he began airing in 2008, the 9.4% increase in E*Trade’s brokerage accounts since then pales in comparison to Charles Schwab’s 13.5% increase and TD Ameritrade’s 24% increase. In short, that while the company may boast some of the most popular ads on tv, it still can’t make a profit. Yikes!

E*Trade’s solution is to increase their overall advertising budget, and half the amount of spots it will run featuring the baby. (Steverman, 2011)

What do you think? Is this a smart approach? What would you do?

Steverman, B. (2011, February 16). E*Trade Looks To Outgrow That Talking Baby. Retrieved February 23, 2011, from


  1. This ad is not good, personally.
    At first, any baby doesn't have a interest of stocks...

    But in my personal concept, 'Repeat' is the strongest way to communicate.
    If key message is bored...

    I checked You Tube.
    NEW E*TRADE Baby - Girlfriend was watched over seven million times. And over eight thousand times, 'like' buttan was pushed.

    This approach is not good, but is not so bad.
    Otherwise, this way is limited only rich company.

  2. I know that the E-Trade babies are my mom and I's favorite commercials, but it does not make me want to switch from TD Ameritrade to E-Trade. It makes me laugh - that's it! I think that they've done a great job establishing their name recognition - and their idea to supplement their humorous commercials with other types of commercials is a smart move. These new commercials need to focus on the benefits of E-Trade and why it's better than other services - focusing on the specifics of how it's so easy and other benefits of the service.

  3. Nikke Gant...

    If the objective is to sell more brokerage accounts, then the baby commercials are not effective at all. Yes, they are funny and yes, we will always remember the E-Trade Baby Commercials, but we will not keep top of mind the underlying key message - to get you to open up an account.

    Serious investors and buyers will look at purchasing with serious brokers - when it comes to dealing with people's money, it's no laughing matter... the commercial is cute, but not doing what it's suppose to do...

  4. After watching E*Trade ads I conclude that if the company is not accomplishing their objectives of selling brokerage accounts, they should create a complete new idea.
    The E*Trade baby is very funny and laughable. It has also created a lot of word of mouth and brand recognition that in fact is awesome for E*Trade despite their lack of success in sales.
    Now that their name of the company is widely known, they should take advantage of such situation and come with a maybe more serious, more describing campaign that might help raise their profit in sales.