Super Bowl LVIII is here at last, with the Chiefs and the 49ers squaring off in Las Vegas this Sunday.
An anticipated record-breaking audience eagerly awaits to witness the outcome of football’s, and maybe all club sports’, greatest annual showdown. However, amid the game, another aspect vies for equal attention—the ad breaks.
Among those on offer this year is the intriguing E*Trade pickleball ad. Its spot, which spans 30 seconds and airs in the second quarter, features the return of the iconic E*Trade babies, who have now ventured into the world of pickleball.
In this ad, dubbed “Picklebabies,” the diminutive protagonists engage in doubles against two notably aggressive adults. Mockingly dubbed “Wiffle tennis,” the babies face high-speed serves aimed at their heads, accompanied by shouts of “PICKLE!”
Undeterred, one of the spokesbabies quips, “It’s basically tennis for babies, but for adults,” before turning the tables on their opponents and cheekily advising their opponents to save for college, as they seem to enjoy getting schooled.
Directed by Randy Krallman
Directed by Randy Krallman of 72andSunny and Smuggler, who also helmed E*Trade’s previous Super Bowl ads, the commercial culminates with the victorious babies bidding their full-grown rivals farewell at the pickleball net, saying, “Thanks for coming to our clinic, first one’s free.”
The overall message of the campaign humorously suggests that investing with E-Trade is so straightforward even a baby could manage it.
Following the success of the 2022 E-Trade Babies commercial, which ranked 10th overall on Ad Meter, expectations are high for this latest installment. E-Trade’s advertising history boasts numerous triumphs, with the E-Trade Babies campaign standing out as a perennial favorite among fans.
A Staple Of Their Advertising Strategy
Introduced in 2008, the talking baby concept has remained a staple of E*Trade’s advertising strategy, even after the brokerage’s acquisition by Morgan Stanley in 2020.
In contrast to previous outings, the 2024 commercial seamlessly integrates two cultural elements—Pickleball and the iconic infants—resulting in a charming and focused vignette that resonates with both cuteness and investment-based humor.
Andrea Zaretsky, CMO at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, notes the ad’s timely release, coinciding with a period of financial reflection and the pursuit of new money habits at the year’s outset:
“The Big Game is not just the most watched American event of the year; it also comes at a point of reflection—after the holiday season, where many may feel financially exhausted, and at the start of the year, where folks are looking for a fresh start and new money habits,” she says.
“Through this ad, we aim to encourage consumers to get in the game, figuratively through Pickleball, but on a very real level through taking control of their finances.”
Matt Murphy, Global Chief Creative Officer at 72andSunny, said, “We just had to let the creative process play out a bit, and unless you were living under a rock, you couldn’t not hear about pickleball.
“It just felt really very timely to do a story, and the visual contrast between these overzealous adults playing against babies was just like, ‘OK, let’s have fun with this.’”
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