How JPMorgan cut the ad-making process from months to days


“J.P. Morgan Advisors Are Here For You” spot.


A new TV ad from JPMorgan Chase shows how companies are putting together commercials on a tighter turnaround and without the production abilities normally at their disposal as the coronavirus pandemic shuts down broad swaths of the economy.  

In recent weeks, major advertisers have postponed campaigns and cut marketing budgets. Some have retooled their messages to be more appropriate and respectful during a deadly pandemic. But with social distancing measures in place, brands have to get more creative about how they shoot and put together new ads. 

Take a new TV spot from JPMorgan, which will begin airing Thursday evening and features the company’s advisors speaking to clients from home. Kristin Lemkau, CEO of the firm’s U.S. wealth management group, said it’s intended to reassure its roughly two million existing clients that the company’s 4,200 advisors are there to talk about their finances. 

Typically, the creation of an ad is an involved process, with a brief that goes out to an ad agency, multiple scripts, a ladder of sign-offs and more. JPMorgan cut out many of the usual steps, cutting a process that usually takes months down to about 10 days from idea to execution.

“You can cut through a lot of process when you have to,” Lemkau said. 

Lemkau said she took a crack at writing the script herself and worked closely with Chase’s chief marketing officer Leslie Gillin and David Droga, the founder and creative chairman of creative agency Droga5, which worked with the company on the spot. She said the commercial didn’t have “layers and layers of review” underneath it. The company reached out to a selection of advisors, who provided the still photos and videos that were stitched together for the final spot. 

Though Lemkau said this is a very different situation, she recalled Aviation Gin’s fast-moving response to Peloton’s oft-mocked commercial late last year. 

“I think there’s a challenge for the industry. We talk about agile product development,” she said. “There’s got to be a better, more agile way of ad development.” 

Whether some of the leaner strategies for commercial production will stick around is unclear, but advertisers are increasingly seeking out capabilities like computer-generated imagery and animation while big in-person shoots are off the table, Digiday reported this week. User-generated content has also featured prominently in new spots during the pandemic. 

The new spot is also an introduction of sorts for the revamped wealth management business, which brought on Lemkau to lead it in December. Lemkau, who had previously been chief marketing officer at JP Morgan Chase, said the entity had been planning to do some sort of campaign about the business and its value proposition.

“It hit me one night at 11 that this should be the moment where we talk about how our advisors are here, they’re working and they’re here for clients,” she said. “If there’s one thing people care about in a crisis, it’s their family, their health and their money.” 


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