When I was at the movie theater a few months back, I saw a 30-second ad that caught my attention.  The ad featured a baby seated on a booster chair at a Golf Country Club and talking in front of a computer.  The baby speaks like an adult and is wearing a Taylor Made Golfing hat.   It looks as though his golf partner is getting ready for their tee time as the baby is finishing some last minute stock trades.

What was different?  From my own experience in Marketing, you always want to have something that is compelling and different.  Usually, financial service companies are known for being conservative and not so wild.  This ad uses a baby to catch people’s attention because most people look and smile at them – humans our programmed to do so.  Then the little guy is ready to play golf, which is perceived as the sport of professionals and people of high socio-economic status.  In addition, the current recession has left a sour taste about investments, so the ad shows a baby and a senior and conveys the message that you have the ability to control your investment direction.

I do not know how E*Trade is measuring their success with this campaign and overall strategy, but one thing is certain.  They have found a way to take a negative view of the current financial market and place a positive spin.  Over the long run, they will definitely grow must faster than their competitors such as Charles Schwab and Ameritrade.

Posted by Deepak Gupta.

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