Kinetics Asset Management of White Plains, N.Y., with $1.6 billion in assets under management, is hoping to attract more assets to its five Internet funds with its first television commercials. Three 15-second ads began running on CNBC, CNN, CNNfn and Bloomberg News in late February.
Kinetics declined to disclose its TV advertising budget.The firm is spending a total of $4 million on advertising in 2000, said Steven Samson, president and CEO of Kinetics.
Kinetics decided it was worth spending the money on television advertising now because of the tremendous interest in technology and Internet funds which are its specialty, Samson said.
The graphics in each spot are simple, focusing on Kinetics' "I" (as in "Internet") logo. In one spot the graphics evolve from a highway into the Kinetics logo. In a second spot, the camera focuses briefly on muscular arms welding metal. Sparks flying from a torch blend into the Kinetics logo. In a third spot, the camera zooms in on football strategy being mapped out on a chalkboard and one of the chalk line arrows becomes the border of the Kinetics "I" logo.
The message and tag line in each spot is that Kinetics can provide investors five different Internet solutions. The tag line in each is, "Investing in the next generation of the Internet."
Each spot is overlaid with graphics of performance and ratings information. In each ad, it is noted that Kinetics' flagship Internet Fund is "100 percent no-load." The Internet Fund has enjoyed a 105.7 percent average annual return since inception, and had a 216.44 percent total return for the 12 months ended Dec. 31 1999, the spots say.
The Internet Fund has also been rated the number-one equity fund by Lipper, the spots say. The spots also note The Internet Fund's five-star Morningstar rating.
Kinetics' website address, www.kinetics.com, which appears at the end of each spot, is intended to draw traffic, Samson said.
"This is very, very important," said Samson. "We want to drive people to our website, where they will find news flashes, market commentary, investor education information and detailed information to learn more about us."
"Even though we are running very short commercials about Kinetics, we hope that investors will come to our website to learn more," which is why Kinetics decided to invest in only 15-second television spots, Samson said.
One of the three spots draws attention to Kinetics' four newly-introduced Internet sector funds: The Internet New Paradigm Fund, The Internet Infrastructure Fund, The Internet Global Growth Fund, and The Internet Emerging Growth Fund.
Kinetics is hoping to attract the attention of investors interested in the Internet and technology stocks, while building its brand image, Samson said.
"We are the only asset management firm with such an array of Internet funds," he said. "We want investors to begin thinking that when it comes to taking on the Internet and selecting Internet-only funds from only one house, there is only one organization, and that is Kinetics."
Kinetics wants to outdo Munder Capital Management of Providence, R.I., using a similar approach to advertising as Munder's, Samson said.
"Munder has run very aggressive advertising campaigns, but they are load," Samson said. "We want to claim that space for people who are self-selectors or who work with fee-only advisors."