07 April 2006

Ameriprise vs. Fidelity Financial Redux

I guess you should first read the blog entry from October '05. That'll set the stage for this entry and links:

Invoking "The Sixties": Fidelity Financial vs. Ameriprise

The above has been the most popular (or perhaps most infamous) entry of mine over the last year. I know from my stats that Ameriprise has been all over it. It still gets tons of hits.

Recently, others have been writing about these campaigns. A very good piece by Patrick Somerville for The Simon:
Woodstock, Flower Power and Mutual Funds: How Ameriprise Panders to Boomers

The 1960s were about cultural change and political activism. But in Ameriprise's new commercials, the era's touchstones are evoked in the name of money, money, money.
While I've not seen it (and hope I never do), apparently Fidelity Financial has stooped as low as Ameriprise. Read A '60s Anthem is Sold As Bait by Mark Patinkin of The Providence Journal:
"In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" is being used to get aging hippies to invest for retirement. It's in a Fidelity commercial. Define irony. I strongly doubt that when a circle of stoned 19-year-olds were passing around a joint with Iron Butterfly on the turntable in 1969, they were weighing wealth-preservation versus growth as they considered the most prudent mix of stocks, bonds and other equity instruments … I find that a bit patronizing. That's how you talk to old people who are, like, I don't know, over 50 or something.
Sometimes I'm speechless. Often it's due to gagging. How grateful I am to others when my throat feels like it's been stuffed with a dry mop.

And Mr. Patinkin hints at one of the cautionary themes in my book:
But someone - probably a 29-year-old ad whiz kid who researched boomer music - figured it was the way to hook us.

Update, 27 April 2006: David Wolfe (Ageless Marketing) is now blogging about the Ameriprise campaigns. As always, his erudite and enlightening comments get your brain roiling:

Ameriprise Doesn't Get It

More on Ameriprise's Misreading of Boomers


  1. I monitor the comments on this blog - meaning, the comments show up in my mailbox and I decide if they are worthwhile or relevant. If not, I delete them.

    These two posts about the Ameriprise and Fidelity campaigns have received a bunch of comments that I haven't published. They all have to do with Ameriprise and Fidelity and the way they do business.

    This is a blog about advertising. I have no idea if Ameriprise or Fidelity have good financial advisors, good financial plans.

    However, if it's true that Ameriprise only hires FAs in their twenties - then there will be a disconnect with Baby Boomer clients. Some of the spots do make you believe your Financial Advisor will be a seasoned FA with the same concerns you might have.

    If you're interested in what bloggers are saying about Ameriprise and Fidelity and their business practices, do a Technorati or Google blog search.

  2. I know this post is nearing the one-month mark, but I re-read it again today and still cracks me up. Ameriprise, the dry mop...it's all too funny.

    Keep on,