From the April 2008 issue of Research Magazine • Subscribe!

April 1, 2008

For Wachovia, 'With' Is the Magic Word

Wachovia Securities, now based in St. Louis, has a new national advertising campaign that aims to convey "the power created by its union with A.G. Edwards using one simple word -- with," the company says.

A.G. Edwards became a division of Wachovia Securities on January 1, 2008, which now includes close to 18,000 financial advisors.

The multi-million dollar "With" campaign is being shown on television, online and in newspapers and magazines nationwide, such as USA Today, The New York Times and Smithsonian, through June 30. It was developed with Winston-Salem advertising agency Mullen, part of Interpublic Group, and can be seen during the NCAA Basketball Championships on CBS.

"We challenged Mullen to have the mindset of the financial advisor and to imagine that the financial advisor was paying for it," explains David Monday, executive director of marketing, innovation and growth at Wachovia Securities.

Work on the campaign started in September 2007, after the companies announced their merger plans in late May 2007, and involved focus groups and interviews with clients, prospective clients and financial advisors from both firms. Its imagery aims to reinforce the importance of personal relationships between financial advisors and their clients, explains Monday, and the idea that Wachovia and A.G. Edwards came together as a "merger of equals."

"'With' conveys that A.G. Edwards is with Wachovia Securities and that our financial advisors are with their clients every step of the way," Monday says.

While the ad campaign includes a small image of the A.G. Edwards' nest egg, the A.G. Edwards' brand is set to disappear by July 30, 2008, at branches nationwide. The egg icon, though, could be used as an image for future marketing of financial planning, for instance, according to Monday.

Wachovia Corporation, the parent company of Wachovia Securities, also has been re-branding Golden West's World Savings as part of that merger, which was announced in May 2006.

The next marketing campaign for Wachovia Securities will be firmed up in April, Monday says.

"A lot has changed since the days of the E.F. Hutton ads," he explains, "when E.F. Hutton spoke and we listened. "Today, it's about us listening to you, the client, speak. That's a big change in the marketplace and in marketing."

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Janet Levaux is the managing editor of Research; reach her at jlevaux@researchmag.com.

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