Ameriprise Financial Inc. has chosen another famous face for its latest major ad campaign: Academy Award winner Tommy Lee Jones.
"We felt our story could be best delivered through one, consistent voice. We specifically looked for a well-known personality who shares our optimism and authenticity, and who embodies the American spirit. We believe that person is Tommy Lee Jones," said Ameriprise spokeswoman Stacy Housman.
The new campaign, which will debut during Sunday's Emmy Awards, is in stark contrast with the boom-time commercials featuring iconic actor Dennis Hopper, who stood in the middle of the desert next to a fire-engine red Eames chair -- the anti-rocking chair, if you will -- and literally throws the book at the old definition of retirement. In those spots, Hopper concentrated on the theme that dreams don't retire and boomers need to have an adviser so they can figure out how to finance that sailboat trip around the world.
Times have changed. After the financial crisis, the themes "we'll be there for you" and "we'll take care of you" overshadow the idea that retirement will be a period of fulfilling dreams. For many retirees, that simply won't be the case.
The new campaign features two spots. In the one titled "Generations," Tommy Lee Jones leans on a white picket fence as iconic images of farmers, a small-town diner and college students walking through a picturesque campus fill the screen.
"They've been committed to putting clients first, helping generations through tough times, good times, never taking a bailout, there when you need them," he says of the Minneapolis-based financial planning and insurance company.
It's a very different vibe than the frenetic commercials featuring Hopper, who died of cancer last year.
The spots lean heavily on Ameriprise's financial strength and century-plus history. The company that is now Ameriprise started in 1894 when John Tappen of Minneapolis founded Investors Syndicate to help teachers, loggers and miners save for the future. That company became IDS, which was bought by American Express. Ameriprise spun off from American Express in 2005.
Initial responses to the commercials, which are posted on YouTube and Ameriprise's Facebook page, are positive, with more than 100 people "liking" the ads as of Friday night.
The new commercials will be shown in primetime during the premieres of "NCIS" and "Desperate Housewives" as well as during college football and the World Series. Ads will also be seen on cable news and lifestyle channels.
Ameriprise works with R/GA and Initiative for its ads and media campaigns.
Kara McGuire • 612-673-7293