Why money isn’t everything for Edward Jones

Who: Edward Jones, with Mass Minority for strategy, creative and media, post-production by The Vanity, collage artist Mark Murphy, PR by Proof Strategies.

What: “We do money differently,” Edwards Jones’ is first fully integrated Canadian campaign. It emphasizes the key brand positioning of being about life goals not just wealth accumulation.

When & Where: The campaign is live now, with an anchor 60-second spot, and cutdowns across TV, online video, and search, supported by testimonial style ads for online and radio.

Why: Edward Jones is the second largest full-service independent brokerage in Canada, but the category is still dominated by the big banks in Canada, meanwhile research shows many people are unhappy with the financial advice they have been receiving, said Mieka Puzniak, Edward Jones Canada, head of marketing.

Edwards Jones sees that as their opportunity.

“We have huge growth potential in Canada, and we’ve grown significantly over the last couple of years,” she says. Assets under management have increased by more than 70% in the last five years—from $30 billion to $52 billion.

“With that [growth] comes the ability to make some investments,” she said. “One of the biggest ways that we think we can grow… is to help others understand what it is that we do, and how we partner with them to have a positive impact on their lives.”

For Edward Jones, money management is about more than dollars and cents, it’s about family and health and wellness, said Puzniak. “Money is really a path to one’s purpose, a path to what’s most important to them.”

They wanted a made-for-Canada campaign that highlighted that more holistic approach to wealth management that balances life and financial goals.

How: The anchor spot uses collage artwork to depict different chapters of a person’s life. It opens with a young graduate running on screen as scenes of his life pass by, soon he’s joined by his life partner. A narrator talks about the typical stresses and pressures to make money, and the confusing and sometimes contradictory suggestions about what to do with it.

“It seems just about everybody wants you to obsess over money,” he says while the collages around the couple depict typical tropes of wealth and accumulation.

Halfway through, the tone and the visuals change. “Maybe it’s time to do things differently, and get obsessed over something other than money for a change,” says the narrator, while the collages depict fields of sunflowers, mountain hikes and balloon rides.

The spot closes with the campaign tagline “Money’s a thing. But it’s not everything.”

The ad shows how people can be racing through life, pushed along by a system that prevents them from doing what they really want to do, explained Puzniak.

“And if you’re not really focused on what it is that’s most important to you, you may not be spending that money in the way that’s best for you,” she said.

“Sometimes you just need to stop. Take a step back, reflect on what’s really most important to you and realize that there’s a better way to be doing that.”

How… to stand out: Edwards Jones is a strong player in the market, but still thinks of itself as a challenger brand, said Puzniak. “So we have to break through.

“We wanted to create artistic, strong, breakthrough creative that looked like nothing else in the market in the financial services space.”

It was also a useful device to help convey the tone and the tension they wanted, particularly in the first half of the ad. “You watch it, and you can feel the energy and the tension and the stress building, and the collage approach was a really artistically different and breakthrough means to be able to that.”

David Brown