I have zilch in the way of official research to back this up, but I feel pretty confident when I say that the commercial campaign starring the E-Trade baby is one of the more divisive ones in recent memory. It’s been wildly successful, and marketing people and moms seem to love it without exception, but I also know people who hate it with the fire of one thousand white hot suns. It creeps them out to no end. One time when I was at a sports bar and the commercial came on, I even heard a fellow patron, who may have had a few too many, say something along the lines of, “If I ever see that baby, I’m going to throw it out the window.” Seems like a bit much, sure, but I think threatening to murder a baby really illustrates the disconnect I referenced earlier.
All of which brings to me this: The campaign’s six year run may be coming to an end, as the advertising firm that created it, Grey New York, has resigned the E-Trade account.
The fate of the baby is now up in the air. E-Trade, on Friday, declined to comment on the baby’s fate. But E-Trade owns the rights to the baby — not the agency that created it. So, even with a new agency, E-Trade has the option to continue to feature the baby in future ads.
Some ad industry executives speculate that’s rather doubtful, however, since E-Trade — which had several CEOs over the past few years — not only has another relatively new CEO, but also a new marketing chief.
So there you go. I really don’t have anything else to add except to say that (a) it’s still hilarious to me that the baby is voiced by comedian Pete Holmes, who will have a late-night show following Conan on TBS later this year, and (b) that drunken bar patron who threatened the baby? IT WAS ME.