Lord Abbett has been there, done that, and is still doing it. With a track record spanning three quarters of a century, the firm launched its "Deja vu" print campaign at the end of last year to let people know that they've been around, are still around - and is a firm investors can continue to count on to chart a sound course through the markets far into the future.
"The market's been better, it's been worse, and these things happen," said Douglas Sieg, partner and director of marketing at Lord Abbett. "It's called Deja vu' to remind people of the historical perspective of the market and that we're in it for the long term."
Working in conjunction with ad agency Masius of New York, the company came up with the catchphrase "process makes perfect." And in the case of Lord Abbett, theirs is a "disciplined process of investing," Sieg said.
With the Lord Abbett Affiliated Fund at the helm, the crux of the campaign seems rooted in the old adage, with age comes wisdom, or better, experience.
"At Lord Abbett, we think one of our advantages of being in the investment management business for 72 years is our perspective," the company's ad reads. "Through the cyclical dips and swells of the markets over the years, our commitment to disciplined investing has helped us provide clients with a tradition of consistent long-term performance."
The bright orange ad is a simple one, with a simple message. The stalwart columns in the backdrop ooze steadfastness and dependability.
"It's a good ad. It shows stability, and the pillars are bright orange, making it a little bit fresher," says Polly Carpenter, president of Carpenter Group, a New York-based design firm that did some collateral material for Lord Abbett three years ago.
If that's not subliminal enough, a performance chart of the company's flagship Affiliated Fund is conveniently perched on the lower half of the ad, showing positive growth in bright orange over a 50-year time span.
Is it overkill? "I think that the concept is a good one. They are a value shop, so the current market conditions give them an advantage to show good performance," she said. "If they can show it, they should."
They've definitely shown it. Sieg said the Lord Abbett campaign has already appeared in "publications that financial advisers see," such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Barron's. The campaign has also launched several other initiatives, including a seminar for advisers talking about the history of the market.
According to Jason Farago, director of communications at Lord Abbett, the campaign has been receiving a great deal of positive feedback from the industry. Farago also said there's no set date for the campaign's termination, the implication being that if it's doing well, why kill it?
But there may be another reason, having to do with Lord Abbett's hidden talent: therapy. Interestingly, Farago mentioned the "philosophical way of looking at the market" was also a general message to the public at large, the message being "if we stay steady, we can weather any storm."