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Fido’s McCartney Ad Soft Sell

Publication: Fund Action

Fidelity Investment’s television advertisement featuring ex-Beatle Paul McCartney is taking a soft sell approach, according to some. Fidelity unveiled the commercial this week during the New England Patriots and the Oakland Raiders football game. The advertisement featured a photo montage of his life with the tag line, “The key is, never stop doing what you love.” 

The television ad will certainly bring Fidelity attention, but it is unclear whether it will generate new business,” said Howard Schneider, president of Practical Perspectives. “There was no clear benefit to me as a consumer as to why I should call Fidelity about what they are offering. The call to action was, ‘call us,’ but it was not prominent as to how you call them. I was surprised at how soft the ad was,” he said. 

“The cost to attract McCartney for the advertising campaign is estimated at $2-5 million”, noted Jim Erlick, president of The Erlick Group, which puts together similar marketing deals. In addition to network TV, the ads will appear on cable television, and in national and local newspapers and magazines in the U.S. and Canada. Fidelity is also sponsoring McCartney’s upcoming concert tour and a music education initiative. 

Geoff Chellis, president of Expedia Consulting Group, said the ad appeared to be simply promotional. “It didn’t do anything for me from an investment standpoint.” 

A banner ad on Fidelity’s Web site points a user to an offer for a free McCartney CD after using a retirement portfolio planner, a Retirement Quick Check or a Retirement Income Planner. Jenny Engle, Fidelity spokeswoman, said the firm does not intend the ads to appeal only to Baby Boomers planning for retirement, but to a much broader audience.

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