NO MAN IS AN ISLAND -- UNLESS HE'S A TOW-TRUCK DRIVER NAMED AL: FINANCIAL SERVICES

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Discover Brokerage: "Tow Truck," :30

Black Rocket, San Francisco

Tool of North America, Erich Joiner, director

Online trading is the rage from Wall Street to Main Street, so naturally online brokerages are one of the hottest categories in advertising. The appeal here is the bountiful wealth that awaits those who take control of their portfolios at the click of a mouse. Often these executions feature blue-collar working stiffs who are depicted as nouveau riche investors. It's like lottery advertising; money everywhere, with little or no risk.

In one of the best of these campaigns we meet "Al," the millionaire tow-truck driver and dedicated Discover Brokerage user who rescues stranded motorists because he likes helping people. His disconcerted businessman passenger becomes even more crestfallen when he realizes that the snapshot of a tropical island pictured on Al's truck visor isn't his vacation spot, it's his home. "Technically," Al notes, "it's a country."

RUNNERS-UP

MasterCard: "Baseball," :30

McCann-Erickson, New York

Tony K., Inc., Tony Kaye, director

One of the most successful campaigns in years, this one has won just about every award and been parodied left and right, which is always a sure sign of mass acceptance. MasterCard has always had trouble finding its raison d'etre -- until now. While we see beautifully shot scenes of a father and his kid taking their seats at the ballpark, the various things they're sharing -- and their prices -- appear on screen. The clincher here, as in all MasterCard spots, is to take the sum total of the experience and declare that it has no price tag. It's a compelling paradigm: money might not be able to buy you love, but here it buys you quality time with your kid.

Ameritrade: "Let's Light This Candle," :30

OgilvyOne, New York

Epoch Films, Dewey Nicks, director

Another way to sell online trading is to explain its use and benefits to those investors too timid to try it. That's the approach here. The middle-aged, paunchy boss seeks out Stuart, the pony-tailed office Gen-Xer, to walk him through his first online stock purchase. These little buddy films are always good sources of intergenerational humor, and that's the case here as Stuart rocks over the technology and the boss bubbles over the fact that his trade only cost eight bucks. In the end, the kid invites the boss to his party, and a new

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