The face of online stock trading company E*Trade is now a little bit older and a lot more suave.
E*Trade announced in March that it would no longer employ the talking baby mascot that appeared in ads at six consecutive Super Bowls beginning in 2008.
On Sunday, the company posted an ad to its YouTube page revealing that it has instead turned to “House of Cards” actor Kevin Spacey to attract a more sophisticated clientele.
In the ad, Spacey plays a “talent scout” who spots a prospective E*Trade customer filling his plate at a fancy buffet. Spacey then compliments the man on both his trading and culinary savvy.
“Who would have thought three-cheese lasagna would go with chocolate cake and ceviche? The same guy who thought that small caps and bond funds would go with emerging markets. It’s a masterpiece,” Spacey gushes, before handing the man a business card anointing him a member of the “Type E*” club.
Adweek reports that the ad is the first in a series of Spacey spots from Ogilvy & Mather, which E*Trade tapped to replace Grey this past July.
The E*Trade baby made Super Bowl audiences laugh with his deep voice and surprising stock-trading knowhow, but the company has since decided to pivot toward a marketing strategy that caters to existing customers and others already comfortable with the stock market rather than the average American.
By using Spacey to communicate the company’s brand as a sort of exclusive club for people who understand the market, E*Trade is narrowing its focus on this core consumer, rather than one who might laugh at a funny ad but remain hesitant about making a potentially risky investment.
For old time’s sake, here’s the E*Trade baby’s first Super Bowl ad, from 2008:
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