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Fidelity Talks Up Trust, Guidance in New Ads

Rather than stress individual fund performance or investors' malaise in its new advertisements, Fidelity is focusing on providing sound guidance and building on its trusted brand. And that is the focus of the "Guide to Personal Savings" campaign, taglined "Turn Here," Fidelity Chief Marketing Officer James D. Speros told The Boston Globe.

The GPS theme, a play on "Global Positioning Systems," is highlighted with an animated green line that stretches before investors' feet to guide them. Speros said he first thought of the play on GPS when he was driving home.

"At a literal level, it's about guidance," Speros said. "What we're hearing from the marketplace is consumers want guidance to navigate the economic turmoil-that's coming through loud and clear. What they want to work with is a trusted resource to guide them [based on their] personal risk tolerance."

Asked how Fidelity is addressing its funds' relatively poorer performance compared to their peers in 2008, Speros said Fidelity is not "positioning the company as an asset class [but] getting people to think about Fidelity, the brand, as a guide and a navigator. You could certainly go down the path of talking about mutual funds or CDs or whatever, but then you're defined by the asset class."

Speros said that Fidelity is also very consciously advertising during the recession, knowing that, historically, companies that "market themselves strongly around periods of recession or depression typically come out even stronger than their competitors. So, we never through about taking our foot off the pedal, because as other companies weaken, Fidelity is in a very good competitive position right now."

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