Radio's 'Plain Talk' Helps Vanguard Connect

When The Vanguard Group advertises its investment services to potential clients, it's important the media selected be able to pinpoint the best prospects. Traditionally, in print, that has meant publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Money Magazine.
In October, however, Vanguard began to add Radio to its media mix, airing on stations and networks targeting men, 35+. "Radio gives us the ability to establish more of a dialog," explains Sarah Lenhard, director of account services at SGFT Inc., Vanguard's Philadelphia-based ad agency. "Radio," she continues, "gives you that forum for moreplain talk."
The Radio creative developed by SGFT, in fact, won an FCS Portfolio Award from The Financial Communications Society for best Corporate Image commercial. The awards, which were presented in May at New York's Grand Hyatt Hotel, recognize creative excellence in financial advertising.
The winning spot, "Past Performance", pokes fun at investment ads that, "end with caveat past performance is no guarantee of future results'", while, "all too often, the ad's headline is touting that exact same past performance." Then the point is made that, "at Vanguard, they believe that when you're investing for your family's future, it's not just about the stratospheric return of a single fund in a single year, it's about five and ten years of performance . . ."
The Vanguard Radio utilizes an 800-number ('888-Vanguard. Where the Smart Money Is'). "It's specific to Radio," says Lenhard, "so we can track the results. I can't give you the specific numbers, but the call volume was way up, and the campaign started as five different spots and has now grown to nine." According to the New York Radio Market X-Ray, Vanguard Group advertising airs on five New York market Radio stations.