Answering the call. A brand strategy for new ETFs
14 September 2022
AB (AllianceBernstein) is a global asset manager known for its research strength and innovative thinking. A powerhouse in munis, AB was looking to leverage its reputation to launch its very first set of ETFs (exchange traded funds). Turning to Living, AB challenged us to create a robust campaign to dramatically announce the arrival of two active ETFs and set the stage for more to come.
Living is equally research-driven, so we dove into our discovery phase beginning with a competitor review of six leading ETF providers. With our proprietary Living Ratings as a foundation, we analysed these companies’ value propositions, supporting ETF brand messages and online content, visual brand elements and advertising media. We then conducted a set of internal workshops, bringing together the EFT leadership team, fund managers and corporate marketers. We followed up with a series of one-on-one interviews to drill down on our initial set of findings.
As a result, we devised as set of campaign recommendations that focused on being smart, confident and disruptive, allowing AB to stand out in a crowded and highly competitive space. The messaging strategy would focus on four key attributes that would define AB’s approach to the ETF market: Active. Responsive. Research-driven. Human.
Our designers then brought this strategy to life with distinctive and insightful creative that would “cut through the noise and communicate with clarity.” Working with the international Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet (e.g., Alpha, Bravo, Charlie), we created a series of headlines that spelled out keywords (ETF, ROI, Edge, etc.) and the tickers for AB’s first two ETFs (TAFI, YEAR). The art direction for the campaign was inspired by soundwaves and radio frequency, giving the visuals a colourful digital and dynamic perspective.
In addition to providing product talking points for AB’s sales team, Living delivered a full suite of digital, social and print advertisements, the campaign landing page, assets for an animated video, paid search copywriting, and a complete campaign playbook for use by the AB ETF sales and marketing teams.
With the launch of its first two ETFs, AB was now armed with an integrated product campaign, built for longevity and designed to consistently show AB as a competitor equal to the biggest names in the industry.