Schwab TV Commercials Love Out of Home

Stock-trading commissions may be fading, but not Charles Schwab’s affection for out of home (OOH) media.

During the Oklahoma-Texas college football telecast on FOX October 12, I saw Schwab’s 30-second spot that features multiple OOH formats:

  • bus shelter ad
  • taxi-top ad
  • bus wrap

The locations featured in Schwab’s TV ads change, but the discount broker’s ad narrative is the same. A frustrated rival broker is tormented by spotting OOH ads for better deals at Schwab.

From a high-rise office, the rival broker sees a Schwab wall sign.

From the golf course, the rival broker is chagrined to find a Schwab billboard.

The current Schwab commercial (produced by Universal McCann) puts the hapless, huffy rival broker in a cab, where he is hard-pressed to explain his fees while surrounded by OOH ads pitching Schwab.

Charles Schwab recently announced commission-free trading on stocks; E*Trade and TD Ameritrade quickly followed suit, as did Fidelity within a week.

Billboards and other OOH ad formats (including transit, airports, aerial, and place-based screens) also are popular in commercials for GEICO, State Farm, Ford and other brands.

In 2018, GEICO was the No. 3 brand buying OOH media, behind Apple and McDonald’s.

Brands’ use of OOH images to reinforce broadcast ads highlights media using other media. Prominent on-air positioning of OOH ads also showcases OOH as real messages seen from vehicles, the street, the office, the golf course, or in the case of a prospective GEICO client… when climbing out from under a rock.