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Proving an investment is as good as gold.

The Cultural Challenge:

How do you establish trust after a financial crisis?

State Street Global Advisors (SSgA) is the investment management division of State Street Corporation and the world’s third largest asset manager, with more than $2.4 trillion (USD) in assets under management.

SSgA wanted to launch a global campaign for their SPDR Gold ETF product in Japan (as well as Hong Kong and Singapore) targeting consumers and professional investors. However, SSgA was unknown in the region and neither SSgA nor its lead agency in New York had any experience advertising in the region.

ETFs were an obscure investment product to the vast majority of Japanese investors, being both esoteric and abstract. Additionally, since the launch of this campaign was not long after the collapse of Lehman Brothers there was great skepticism toward all foreign financial companies.

RCS Capabilities:

Competitive Research & Analysis, Strategy, Art Direction, Copywriting, Media Buying (print, digital, OOH), Direct Response, Print Advertorials, Broadcast TV Infomercial

What we did and how we did it…

The Idea:

Because ETFs were too abstract for most Japanese investors (they were more comfortable with investing in physical gold bars) we demonstrated the security of the investment by showing just a few gold bars from the 1,300 tons of gold held in an underground London vault that back the product.

The Execution:

After doing competitive research we developed a strategy that spoke to the concerns of the target audience and created an original advertising campaign based on that strategy. Further, we:

  • Researched and developed a comprehensive media plan for print, digital, broadcast and transit
  • Planned and developed original broadcast commercials to extend the brand message in tandem with key promotional activities
  • Negotiated favorable rates and trafficked materials with key publications in Japan

The Results

In the time we worked on the account, the SPDR Gold ETF became the largest ETF in the world, with $71 billion in assets, almost $1 billion more than the S&P 500 SPDR.