Top online advertiser Scottrade increases TV ad presence; Grounds helicopter with new creative launch

Online investing firm launches new integrated marketing campaign with new tagline, logo and advertising creative to tap into trend of empowered, independent investors

ST. LOUIS – Scottrade, the online investing firm that has attracted do-it-yourself investors through its trademark $7 online stock trades and commercials featuring its founder and CEO flying a purple helicopter, is announcing an updated branding approach and new advertising campaign that launches nationwide today.

The new branding and integrated campaign includes an updated logo, a new tagline that encourages people to “Get Invested” by taking control and new print and national television broadcast creative designed to appeal to the empowered, independent investor. The campaign will also be showcased through online advertising and social media.

“As Scottrade celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2010, we continue to see investors gain confidence to take control of their own investments,” said Scottrade founder and CEO Rodger Riney. “Especially during the past year, we’ve experienced a momentum shift – a significant number of new accounts coming to Scottrade from other firms – both online and full service. That’s why our low commissions, plus the tools and education self-directed investors need to make their own decisions, are the central themes of our new advertising.”

Scottrade’s campaign will continue to emphasize the value provided by its $7 online stock trades. It also reinforces the firm’s other advantages, including extensive educational materials, robust tools and resources, first-class customer service and face-to-face customer interaction through its nearly 450 branch offices.

“In the wake of the recent economic upset, there is a trend toward consumer empowerment that extends to the financial industry,” said Chris Moloney, Scottrade’s chief marketing officer and executive director of customer intelligence. “We are seeing consumers taking control of their finances, including their investments. Our updated branding and advertising approach helps us tap into this consumer trend as it gains momentum, as well as broaden our placements to reach more potential customers.”

With the new campaign, Scottrade is broadening its advertising strategy and media mix by building an advertising presence beyond the financial and news media to capture a new and broader audience. In addition to sports, Scottrade has extended its focus into lifestyle, entertainment and leisure media placements in both television and print media.

Television Advertising

The new television advertising creative is called “Don’t Go,” and the firm has produced eight new commercials. The ads feature a new character named Chad A. Ridgeway who will be recurring in Scottrade’s television campaign and whose actions and attitudes serve as a humorous example of what Scottrade is not. “Chad” represents the antithesis of a Scottrade associate. The character is never where he’s supposed to be or working on what he should be working on; instead he’s on a yacht, playing squash, eating at a fancy restaurant or riding in a limousine – not paying attention to his customers.

“Typically, conservative is the rule in financial advertising,” Moloney said. “However, our recent research shows that many self-directed investors manage their own finances because they find it enjoyable. We’ve played into that sense of fun with our new creative. The ads strike a nice balance to spark interest through humor and yet still allow our message to resonate.”

As with the company’s previous television creative, Riney appears in the ads to reinforce the company’s commitment to providing outstanding value, trading resources and customer service.

“People have seen me as ‘the guy in the helicopter’ for three years now and it is time for a change,” Riney said. “I’m glad to still be talking directly to investors through these new ads to demonstrate that they can make their own investing decisions and that Scottrade has their best interests in mind.”

The television spots were created by Boston-based advertising firm Gearon Hoffman, which has created and produced a number of television campaigns for Scottrade, and directed by Rob Pritts, who has also directed commercials for brands such as Bud Light, Holiday Inn, American Express and Snickers. Scottrade recruited advertising industry veteran and former Anheuser-Busch Chief Creative Officer Bob Lachky to consult as senior creative advisor.

The “Don’t Go” commercials will premiere tonight during the Bowl Championship Series game on ABC. They will also appear prominently during the upcoming NFL playoffs as well as on USA, Travel, A&E, ESPN and Discovery, among others.

Print Advertising

Scottrade will also launch its new print advertising campaign later this month. Called “Eyes,” the ads are an extension of a campaign Scottrade began in 2009 that highlights the focus and thoughtfulness investors draw from when making their own investing decisions. A second print campaign premiering in February called “Portraits” conveys the emotions people feel when they invest, such as excitement, empowerment, intensity and confidence. Some of the publications that will feature Scottrade’s new print ads include Travel and Leisure, Architectural Digest, Wired, Wine Spectator and BusinessWeek.

Online Advertising

Scottrade is one of the largest online advertisers in the U.S., and the firm’s emphasis on online advertising will continue throughout this campaign. More than 15 variations of the television commercials will be available exclusively online as video pre-roll advertising – 15-to 20-second ads that appear before a video segment online. Scottrade anticipates more than 50 million video views on Yahoo! and alone.

Social Media

Scottrade will also feature the “Don’t Go” commercials prominently in social media. The firm’s Facebook, Twitter (@Scottrade) and YouTube pages will showcase the commercials as well as other unique content that will support the new campaign. Chad A. Ridgeway is also on Twitter (@TheChadRidgeway).

To learn more about the campaign or watch the full commercials and several online-only variations of the ads, visit Scottrade on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

About Scottrade

As a leading online investing firm, Scottrade offers a full line of investment products, online trading services and market research tools to help investors take control of their financial future. Scottrade is dedicated to personalized customer service and value, providing customers the convenience of buying many stocks online at just $7 per trade and the support of the largest branch network among online investment firms, with more than 425 nationwide branch offices. Scottrade is also one of FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America. For more information, visit

About Gearon Hoffman

Gearon Hoffman is a Boston-based integrated marketing and advertising firm with more than $100 million in annualized billing. The company serves a diverse group of national and regional clients in a range of industries, including financial services, alcoholic beverages, health care, specialty retail, and hospitality. Agency President and Chief Creative Officer Bob Hoffman served as the creative director and copywriter for the Scottrade campaign, collaborating with agency partner and creative director Dick Davis on art direction and agency producer David Lombardi. Additional creative credits: Backyard Productions (production company), Spotwelders (editing), Crit Harmon (music), Humarock Productions (music).