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OppenheimerFunds Revises Ad Campaign

OppenheimerFunds of New York believes the key to capturing attention is keeping its message fresh. The fund advisory firm, with total assets under management of more than $120 billion, plans to launch new advertisements in keeping with its two-year-old "hands" TV ad campaign.

OppenheimerFunds will air at least two new 15-second TV ads later this year that will make reference to individuals' specific areas of expertise, while suggesting that not everyone is equally proficient at investing, said Bruce Dunbar, vice president and manager of brand marketing at OppenheimerFunds.

The ads show a close-up of an individual's hands at work, in one instance, for example, hands grasping a fishing pole.

"Lately, day trading is the hot thing. Even my dentist is doing it. Hey, I don't look at managing money as a hobby. I depend on people who do it for a living," the fisherman says.

Another voice then says, "OppenheimerFunds. The right way to invest."

The new ads follow two other similar ads OppenheimerFunds has been running since October. One ad takes on the day trading phenomenon and shows a pensive fisherman pondering what all the fuss over day trading is about. The other shows a woman using a handheld computer to obtain online information.

Those ads were created in response to the intense interest in day trading and the use of the Internet which peaked three to six months ago, said Dunbar.

"Six months ago we were hearing about day trading and how the Internet was affecting relationships with financial advisers," Dunbar said. So OppenheimerFunds, which sells predominantly through financial intermediaries and broker/dealers, set out to address those trends.

"We felt we needed to be out there as a company whose business is in relationships (with financial advisors)," he said. "We feel we owe lots of our success to being relevant to what's on investor's minds."

OppenheimerFunds is among the few fund firms that has addressed the popularity of day trading publicly. Last month, Alliance Capital Management of New York, which also sells its funds through financial intermediaries, did so in new TV ads. (MFMN 2/28/00).

In October 1997, OppenheimerFunds launched its first "hands" TV ads which showed a close up view of a pair of busy hands with a voiceover of an individual discussing why he chose to invest in OppenheimerFunds. The investor's hands then contort to become the firm's four interlocking hands logo. The fund group's tagline, "OppenheimerFunds, the right way to invest" is delivered by Gene Hackman.