CyberTrader Debuts New Campaign

Charles Schwab’s online brokerage CyberTrader is poised to launch a new campaign designed to help it stand out from the competition in a tightening market for individual investors.

The campaign, designed by Austin-based GSD&M, will use television, print, online and direct components to position the site’s users as individualistic and sophisticated. The pieces will use the tagline, “There are traders and there are CyberTraders.”

The two-part campaign launched this week with one 60-second spot and two 30-second executions, showing everyday people talking like traders. Hammering home the theme, later spots will show skittish herd animals like sheep, fainting goats and wildebeests, which, a voiceover says, “do not make good CyberTraders.”

“CyberTraders get streaming data and news advanced charting and rapid-fire executions, all within a customizable trading platform, for just $9.95 a trade,” the voiceover reads. “Sheep get nothing.”

While individual stock traders have declined in number in the years following the dot-com bubble, San Francisco-based Schwab said CyberTrade, based in Austin, has seen sizable increases. The campaign is intended to keep that growth going strong by focusing on what it terms “strategic traders.”

“The campaign was born out of respect for the CyberTrader,” said Bo Bradbury, an account director at Omnicom-owned GSD&M, which also handles work for Schwab. “They are unique in terms of trading styles and the tools they use, but they share the same mind-set — they are disciplined, strategic and very competitive.”

The positioning hinges on the fact that active traders, long sought after by online brokerages, which often charge on a per-transaction basis, are dwindling in number. Earlier this week, E*Trade slashed its prices for traders who complete more than 75 trades a quarter. (Earlier, it also launched discounts targeting customers of rival Ameritrade and Datek, which Ameritrade recently acquired.)

The thinking is that by focusing on less-active investors, Schwab can boost its numbers.

“This campaign … shows that strategic traders are different from active traders because they are highly disciplined, strategic, and analytical,” said Jack Calhoun, executive vice president of advertising and brand management for Schwab.

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