See the Spot: Charles Schwab's Animated Fable Encourages Life's Questions

More Financial Brands Turning to Emotionally-Charged Ads

By Published on .

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At a time when investing is increasingly accessible but the global economy is as unstable as ever, Charles Schwab is encouraging people to continue asking questions.

The brokerage firm, which offers online and in-person services, released an animated fable-like adventure about a boy who creates his own path, always questioning as he encounters roadblocks, monsters and friends. The storybook-inspired design and evocative music inspires us to imagine our own questions about life, rather than conjuring images of growing businesses and families, which are the crux of many financial ads. The spot ends with the tagline, "Own your tomorrow," which ties into Charles Schwab's brand push by the same name, and calls on viewers to start asking questions today.

Recently, banks including Chase and Wells Fargo have also leaned toward more emotionally-charged advertising like this to position themselves as partners, not just in one's financial journey, but in one's life. The trend may begin to ripple out across the financial category as marketers aim to strengthen relationships with audiences.

The 90-second film, which appeared at Charles Schwab-sponsored outdoor film events, was created by Not to Scale's Elliot Lim, who aimed to modernize classic illustrations for the piece.

"I wanted to make sure the animation served the story, not distract from it," said Mr. Lim, in a statement. "The execution needed to match the illustration style -- no frills but smooth and precise."

The campaign "Own Your Tomorrow" was created by Crispin, Porter & Bogusky in 2013, replacing the brand's long-running "Talk to Chuck" push.

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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article referred incorrectly to Elliot Lim as Elliot Smith.

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