Ogilvy PR helps E-Trade explain brand evolution

Ogilvy Public Relations helped E-Trade tell the story of how its brand has changed over the years as it launched a campaign starring Kevin Spacey.

NEW YORK: Ogilvy Public Relations worked with E-Trade before and during the launch of its latest advertising campaign to tell the story of how the business has changed over the years.

After six years of its iconic "talking baby" push, E-Trade unveiled an ad campaign last week focused on engaging "Type E" investors, or those who are independent and confident. The campaign features Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey, who most recently starred in House of Cards on Netflix.

Jennifer Risi, MD of Ogilvy Media Influence and head of North American media relations, said the PR campaign was about the ad launch, as well as E-Trade’s evolution as a business. She added that the agency worked on messaging, storytelling, and promoting the marketing initiative.

"We’ve been doing work with some strategic media outlets, such as Reuters and Forbes, to get the message out that E-Trade is a new business, and now it is really about being a financial partner to consumers today," Risi explained.

The agency was brought on for the project at the end of last year through Ogilvy & Mather’s creative work with E-Trade, she added.

E-Trade’s new ads target professionals who want advice about how to invest better or what they need to be doing for financial planning, so Risi said Ogilvy found outlets where it could tell the business story but also be "cool and innovative."

"We decided to go to Fast Company to launch the brand because E-Trade is a disrupter and they have someone like Kevin Spacey who has really changed how people watch TV with House of Cards," she said.
The PR firm’s work with E-Trade has ended, but Risi added that the agency could collaborate with the brand again in the future.

Before the ad campaign launched, Ogilvy scheduled interviews for E-Trade executives with media such as the Associated Press and Forbes so consumers would have context about the campaign when it debuted.
Risi added that the effort was a "great opportunity to show the synergies between paid and earned media," especially for a brand such as E-Trade that historically hasn’t leveraged earned media.
Budget information on the project was not disclosed.

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