The campaign, the largest yet for an online broker, incorporates spot and cable TV, print, outdoor, and radio, as well as the Internet.
The advertising is tagged "Someday we'll all invest this way."
Actor Martin Sheen does voice-over work for broadcast and cable ads in the campaign, handled by Gotham, New York.
"We're being very aggressive," said Sheri Baron, president of Gotham, which won the account this spring. "We expect it will inspire a great deal of competitive response."
The first two commercials from E Trade, which has more than $6 billion in assets, rely on humor to communicate the idea that using an online brokerage is less expensive than going to a traditional broker.
For example, one ad shows a broker and spouse walking into a dream house built on fat broker commissions. In the other, a takeoff on the "When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen" ads, a woman confides, "I don't use a broker" in a hushed restaurant.