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Schwab Gets Real

November 23, 2008

The “Talk to Chuck” campaign of the interesting rotoscope treatment featuring investors talking about working with their broker has morphed.  The “Talk to Chuck” platform is now all about the real Charles Schwab talking to all of us about investing.  There are several of these spots running, all clearly from one long fireside chat with Chuck.  This one running in heavy rotation on Sunday Morning News a-go-go is a little more alarming than earlier spots about trust and weathering markets.  I like the strategic shift and the fact that the advertising platform was flexible enough to accommodate crisis communications.  Most of the spots really work for me given the intention:  calm frayed nerves, roll out the icon, speak to the people, back up the “advice” messaging with straight talk straight to camera and so on.  But I’m not sure this particular execution works.  It’s a bit scary to see a legend of The Street sound a slightly desperate note when telling us all not to panic.  In other spots he comes off like a strong sage, more confident.  I’m curious about whether this fireside chat with Chuck effort is working to calm their customers.         

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