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Raymond James Pitches "Tales of Financial Pragmatism"

Posted by Barry Silverstein on October 20, 2010 10:00 AM

It's a fanciful scenario, to be sure: Emily Skinner, a "fastidious librarian," lives to the improbable age of 187, enjoying life to the fullest every step of the way because she had the money she needed to do so — thanks to the prudent investment strategies of U.S. financial advisory brand Raymond James.

This is the first in a series of "Tales of Financial Pragmatism," a new ad campaign that the firm hopes will differentiate its financial services in a marketplace in which consumers are still reeling from economic shock. The message is carefully constructed to appeal to prospective clients who have taken a much more conservative approach to investing their funds.

Mike Gray, president of ad agency Martin/Williams who developed the campaign, thinks the timing is just right.Continue reading...

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ING Direct Adopts New U.S. Slogan

Posted by Shirley Brady on October 1, 2010 10:00 AM

ING Direct may have just replaced cheeky Scots comedian Billy Connolly in its Australian marketing, but in the US it's attempting to go for the funny bone with slightly tongue in cheek spots.

This week unveiled a new campaign and slogan in the US, with a new catchphrase — "Touch the Ball" — replacing "The Road to Happiness," which featured a spokesperson in an orange 1962 Chevy Impala saving people from bad financial situations.

In the spot above, a job applicant's cellphone emits an embarassing toilet flush sound as an alert for a checking fee. Another spot features a family in slow motion, representing the glacial rate at which they're paying off their mortgage.Continue reading...

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TD Ameritrade Pitches the Invested Life

Posted by Shirley Brady on September 29, 2010 10:00 AM

Financial services brand TD Ameritrade is investing in original Web programming with The Invested Life, which it's billing as a "financial reality series" (Tagline: "Live to invest. Invest to live. Learn how one triumph at a time") for MSN that's also available on a standalone YouTube channel.

“We do plenty of advertising on TV, and our executives appear on CNBC to talk about the market,” said Peter Sidebottom, the brand's EVP for product and marketing, to the New York Times. “This is an additional way for people to engage, and puts it in a context that makes it more accessible to more people.”.Continue reading...

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AmEx Stays Current with Twenty-Somethings

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 27, 2010 10:33 AM

American Express has launched a digital platform for the generation that grew up thinking money grows in ATMs.

Currency hopes to help young people be smarter about their finances, with tools including an iPhone app called Social Currency, which is linked to Foursquare so users can upload pictures of purchases and share text, comments and captions at check-in locations. Users can earn points and unlock badges to share information on good deals.

Developed in partnership with blog network Federated Media, Currency offers advice and tips on a broad range of topics facing college graduates and other 20-somethings: career advice, juggling roommate expenses, hidden costs of living alone, paying off a student loan, planning for the future, starting a family.Continue reading...

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Intuit Ends Quicken Online to Promote

Posted by Shirley Brady on August 20, 2010 10:00 AM

Quicken is about to disappear as one of the Web's leading brands for personal finance and budgeting. The Associated Press is reporting that Intuit is pulling the plug on Quicken Online (which also has a mobile app) on Aug. 29. Instead, it will drive users to an upgraded, which it acquired last year.

"Users of Quicken Online don't necessarily need to do anything," AP notes, as "Intuit says it will delete and securely remove all account information from its servers. Users who want a record of their transactions can export the data to a file before the site is shut down."

More details on the transition from Quicken Online to are here.

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India Gets Its Dollar Sign

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 16, 2010 01:00 PM

The Indian rupee joins the U.S. dollar, the British pound, the euro and the Japanese yen with its own, unique symbol unveiled yesterday.

Chosen from more than 3,000 submitted designs, D. Udaya Kumar, Indian Institute of Technology assistant professor, created the winning design. "I don't have words to express my happiness,” he's quoted by Fast Company. "Most of them were almost similar in concept and execution. I thought I had an edge, as Indian script was represented."

It’s a modified version of a letter in Devanagari script which is used to write Hindi, India’s official language. Kumar’s prize is 250,000 rupees, or about $5,363. It also speaks to India’s current status as a growing international market.Continue reading...

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China: Fashion's New Frontier

Posted by Laura Fitch on June 14, 2010 10:09 AM

Western fashion brands are looking to expand in mainland China, with Vivienne Westwood planning an additional 20 boutiques throughout the mainland, Burberry slated to add a whopping 66 new stores, Coach opening another 20 locations and Ferragamo planning 10 new stores, according to Alisa Gould-Simon at The Guardian.

That top fashion houses are salvaging the remains of declining international sales by catering to China’s growing population of nouveau riche is not news. But recent expansion plans may indicate an attempt by these fashion icons to expand into China’s second and third-tier cities, widely seen as the next, and potentially highly profitable, frontier for Western brands who have managed to gain a share of the market in Beijing and Shanghai.

The numbers certainly look promising. “It is estimated that the Chinese bought $7.5bn worth of luxury products last year. "We estimate retail sales will grow 16-18% this year," says Jessica Lo, of the China Market Research Group. A report published by McKinsey last autumn predicts that consumption will double in China's 100 biggest cities between 2008 and 2015.Continue reading...

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And The Winner Is... Sweepstakes!

Posted by Barry Silverstein on April 22, 2010 03:02 PM

Sometimes in brand marketing, history repeats itself, and that seems to be the case with sweepstakes and contests. And the big prize these days, given the tough economy, seems to be cash, and a lot of it.

First prize in the SoBe Lifewater Zero Inhibitions Bracket Challenge pegged to the recent NCAA March Madness basketball tournament was a cool $9 million. The Reese's Loves You Back sweepstakes offers $2 million in cash prizes. NBC's Minute to Win It series awards up to $1 million cash. HGTV's annual Dream Home sweepstakes doles out $500,000 cash, plus a house and an SUV. The current version of the sweepstakes attracted a whopping 40 million-plus entries in about 45 days, notes the New York Times.

Sweepstakes and contests, of course, are nothing new.Continue reading...

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