Right on the Money


The financial services category has good intentions as far as reaching out to women, but often their ads end up filled with pantsuits and portfolios, in other words, boring. But two recent campaigns caught my eye for the way they tapped into women’s Whole Truths about money. (For perspective, Half Truths are the reflex, sort-of-true answers women give in typical research. Whole Truths reveal her deeper fears or desires, beyond the ‘politically correct’ response.)  

The Wealth Management group of USTrust hits on the underlying bag lady fears of even the most flush female investors. While many profess they are financially in control (Half Truth), the Whole Truth is that a frugal girlhood can color a woman’s financial confidence later in life. Many successful women harbor worries that at any moment, she’ll be pushing her possessions in a shopping cart.   

The USTrust spot describes a woman who (paraphrased) “owns a villa in St. Barths, a condo in Sun Valley…yet a part of her still lives in a cul de sac in  (smalltown) Ohio.” While most viewers won’t pity her, the target of private wealth clients will likely say Bingo! 

Ameritrade is reaching out to the starter investor with a new newspaper ad that features a hip, successful 30 something: “They said I only had $100,000 in my account and passed me off to some junior guy. Since when is $100,000 preceded by ‘only?’” Good question. But the truth is, to many firms, $100,000 in investible assets is pocket change and it shows. Not so fast, buster.  

Rather than luring young women with a jokey Half Truth, “I would rather spend it on shoes now and worry later,” Ameritrade recognizes that anyone who’s managed to save $100,000 early on promises to be a great client over time. Just because she’s young, doesn’t mean she’s not serious about her bottom line. Now, let’s see how they play that out in service.

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October 24, 2020
by Mary Lou Quinlan

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