The future of the E*Trade baby, a six-time Super Bowl celebrity, is unclear today as the company changes ad agencies under a new chief marketing officer.
Such changes often resage new creative directions on ad campaigns. The E*Trade baby may be about to be fired, in other words.
Last month, Grey New York sent out an internal email announcing its resignation from the account, which got the world wondering if that meant that famous baby was destined for retirement (albeit with a sweet 401K).
Weeks later, the financial services company announced its new partnership with Ogilvy, which is owned by WPP, which also owns Grey. But the baby’s future is still on the table.
“The baby platform is iconic and hugely valuable,” E*Trade’s new CMO Liza Landsman told Ad Age. “Certainly its continued use or use in different mediums is on the table … stay tuned.” Source also told the New York Post that Landsman may doubt the effectiveness of advertising.
But would the shop want to continue using a different agency’s calling card? Even if it is one of the most recognisable spokescharacters out there.
“He will always be our baby, but he’s in good hands with our sister agency, Ogilvy,” Grey chief communications officer Owen Dougherty told Business Insider. “Obviously we’d help in any way we can,” Dougherty said.
Ogilvy, which has also done the creative for TD Ameritrade, did not get back to BI to comment on how it plans to proceed with the creative account.
The E*Trade baby has generated more than 60 million YouTube views and scooped up various advertising awards. In his last ad, the baby was seen guzzling down milk at the club and riding on a private yacht. So if he went out, at least it would be with a bang.
According to Ad Age, E*Trade spent $139.5 million in advertising and market development in 2012 but saw a Q1 2013 drop of 44% from last year. It might be time for some changes.
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