FCS Goes Mad for E*TRADE

E*TRADE Financial is one of the great challenger brands and the original place to invest online. E*TRADE's CMO Lea Stendahl presented at our October 19th luncheon in New York City and shared the inspiration and goals behind the firm's latest campaign: “Don’t get mad. Get E*TRADE.”

Lea walked us through the powerful and exciting history of E*TRADE’s challenger brand roots, the story of its founder William Porter, and showed a reel of the firm’s iconic TV spots. She shared with us how all of the firm’s best work holds several key elements: Differentiation, uniqueness, likeability, and a deeper human insight or pointed observation.

E*TRADE’s latest advertising, created by Mullen Lowe, focuses on the emotion of anger. E*TRADE wants investors/consumers to transform their dissatisfaction with financial standing (especially versus their peers) and turn it into positive action:  trading with E*TRADE.

Some of the key takeaways from Lea's presentation include:

  • As a brand E*TRADE makes sure to be true to itself and its heritage.
  • E*TRADE strives to create an emotional message with a lighthearted and disarming execution.
  • Messaging must focus on a relatable emotional insight.
  • Go beyond broad macro trends of media consumption or pop culture, and identify cultural resonance.

With its "Don't get mad.  Get E*TRADE" campaign, E*TRADE was especially successful on this last point by addressing consumers' anger over money.  Combining this with the current cultural obsession with over the top wealth and the competitive human nature, E*TRADE developed an impactful and entertaining campaign.