“Fearless” Marketing Takes The Stage

In March of 2017, something very daring happened on Wall Street that was heard around the world. State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) placed the Fearless Girl statue in front of the Charging Bull statue. 

The Fearless Girl statue became an overnight social media sensation and represents a landmark in the power of smart financial marketing. At the FCS’ September 14th CMO luncheon, SSGA’s Stephen Tisdalle led a very engaging presentation on “being fearless,” which revealed the power of physical marketing in the digital world. Stephen shared with the audience of nearly 100 FCS members and guests how SSGA was able to turn a statue into a destination – both physically in Manhattan and globally online.

SSGA created the first ETF and launched the first gender diversity investment fund, but despite even its top five size in the industry, the firm’s brand awareness was wanting.  Fearless Girl was created to specifically call attention to a major investment issue and to effectively support an new investment product.  But the overwhelming winner was the top-of-mind brand awareness increase for SSGA.

Key takeaways:

  • Physical marketing campaigns can also drive massive multi-channel responses, especially when they have a relatable element.  “Fearless Girl” went viral on digital, print, and television. 
  • Supporting something bigger than your brand can give your audience (and beyond)a position to relate to, an issue to stand behind, a topic to help amplify.  The results can be unprecedented.
  • The ingredients that helped drive the success of “Fearless Girl” included relevancy, conviction, and a direct link to the firm’s investment philosophy and capabilities.

Overall a modest-sized statue (backed by a miniscule marketing spend) helped drive gargantuan global awareness of boardroom gender diversity as well as State Street's SHE ETF, which invests in companies that employ women in high-level leadership roles.


reported by Joshua Estes, Expressible