In its first foray into a corporate branding ad campaign, SunAmerica Mutual Funds of New York has peppered seven train stations in and around the city for the month of March with billboards reading, "Put the Sun in your long-term forecast. Invest in a brighter future." The billboards have been placed in multiple locations including Grand Central Terminal.

SunAmerica believes it is an ideal time to build its name and brand awareness because the company's equity funds have been performing in the top quartile, said Betsy Treitler, vice president of marketing and communications.

Treitler declined to disclose SunAmerica's budget for these billboards. However, the figure is likely to be sizeable since 856,000 commuters pass through the terminals where the billboards are displayed each workday. At 6.8 million gross impressions each day and 22 workdays in the month, SunAmerica estimates it will make 152 million gross impressions on a large population of its target audience: well-educated, white-collar, male professionals and financial advisors.

SunAmerica believes its billboards will stand apart from others because instead of large lettering or photographs, its advertisements are colorful illustrations "that should strike a chord," Treitler says. The billboards depict a person appearing to be a weather forecaster pointing at a chart resembling those that illustrate movements of the stock market over time. Suns dot the peaks of the chart.

SunAmerica's advertising is done in-house. This campaign was created with the help of Prime Design of New York and Steve Klein of Creative Dept., Scottsdale, Ariz. Klein helped SunAmerica develop the copy, Treitler said.

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