The new pitch at Morgan Stanley is “world wise.”
The ’07 ad campaign, launched February 21, is a sharp contrast to a previous pitch that highlighted close advisor-client relations; the bonds were so close, in fact, that they were turned into a “Saturday Night Live” comedy skit that can still be viewed on YouTube.
“This follows the trend in the industry to be abstract,” says Chip Roame, head of Tiburon Strategic Advisors. “The idea is to let the recipients decide what the ad means without the action being shoved in their face,” he notes. “Wachovia led this abstract-type ad effort for a couple years recently.”
In 2003, Wachovia wealth management ads asked viewers questions like, “What can the moon teach us about being well off?” The theme of the campaign was “uncommon wisdom.”
Morgan Stanley’s latest campaign features glimpses of global buildings and not a single advisor or client. The company hopes existing and potential clients will get the gist of the central message: interconnectedness. A print ad featuring a large empty tunnel-like structure in China concludes, “… success is not only a matter of what you’ve invested in, but more importantly whom you’ve invested with.”
“So, when viewers see the building boom in China, Morgan Stanley hopes they’ll ask ‘Is it time to invest in China?’” Roame explains.
Those individuals paying close attention to the small print in Morgan Stanley’s ads can find the mention of a companion website (www.morganstanley.com/worldwise). The site features several Morgan Stanley experts commenting on global investment topics.
The advertising approach used more recently by Charles Schwab, of course, takes the opposite tact: “Talk to Chuck!” consumers are told. “This is a direct call to action,” notes Roame. “It works by stirring up activity and leveraging the brand.”