Babies vs. Bonnie

Since I first saw it during the Super Bowl a few years ago I have always thought that the E*Trade baby commercials were brilliant.  Not only are they funny but in their humour they successfully pass along E*Trade’s key message:  Their platform is so simple a baby could use it.  This campaign has obviously become quite successful for E*Trade as they have continued to run it over the past few years on a regular basis.

The best medium for this ad campaign would be television because of its visual nature because the impact of the babies and their conversations would be lost in any other medium.  The advantage of using this medium is that this campaign has found great success in the secondary audience of YouTube where the various videos from the campaign have garnered millions of views.

Alternatively, The Bay has been running ads with Bonnie Brooks announcing a product that is on feature each week.  I think that the best way to sum up this commercial is the way that the top rated comment on the YouTube video so eloquently put it: “STOP MAKING THESE COMMERCIALS!!!! PLEASE!!! PLEASE BAY!!!!!!! WORST VOICE EVER! I ACTUALLY CHANGE THE RADIO STATION! just get these commercials off the air…. that is all”, this comment has collected the most votes by far.

I struggle to see why they have kept it on the air for so long.  I find the ads annoying and completely out of touch, some of the other segments advertise $80 t-shirts which she promotes as being on sale and a good value for the average Canadian.  They do not convey any of the Bay’s messaging or really provide any meaningful information on the product other than mentioning a YouTube video which is a very weak call to action.  In comparison, E*Trade provides a single key message about the ease of their platform and makes them easy to find online.  Granted, The Bay is using a radio commercial where this can be more challenging but they have still not provided a URL or direction for the listener other than sending them to YouTube where they will likely become distracted before finding the ad they have been sent to find.

In order to improve The Bay ads I would recommend using a different voice or maybe even two separate voices discussing the product and then providing a clear call to action by providing a location where these products could be purchased and maybe some kind percentage off to make the customers look into the price.

Both of the commercials I have discussed are below:

E*trade Baby Commercials

Bonnie Brooks


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