August 20, 2012

Well, not anymore. Smith Barney became famous in the 70s and 80s when the late John Houseman uttered this famous tagline. The firm started in 1938 and eventually became part of Citigroup. Three years ago, they became Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, a brokerage joint venture. Next month, after 75 years, the name Smith Barney will retire and the firm will become Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. By then, all 16,900 brokers will be using the same technology systems, and if you are a customer like I am, this technology switchover hasn’t been painless.

No big marketing tip here… just reflecting on another brand name going to the graveyard. But it did give me a chance to reflect on how great and trend setting the John Houseman campaign was at the time.

Good investments don’t walk up, bite you on the bottom, and say, ‘We’re here.’ Finding them takes good, old-fashioned hard work.”

Still some of the most memorable copywriting around. Given Morgan Stanley’s role in the Facebook IPO, it looks like they retired “old-fashioned hard work” not just from their advertising.

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