When someone says "I'm serious," I struggle.
If they have to explain to me they're serious, then their nonverbal serious signals have clearly failed. And, anyway, this is the 21st century. People never mean what they say.
I find myself contorting a touch, therefore, on seeing the new ad campaign from E*Trade Financial. You might, for some years, have been enchanted with the company's use of babies who have a touch of attitude.
They adorned several Super Bowls and were adored by many.
However, there is some debate as to whether they helped business as much as was thought. As Ad Age reports, a new CMO, Liza Landsman came in.
Landsman explained: "When I joined last summer, everyone told me they loved the baby. And I would say, 'Great, do you have an account with us?' And they would mostly say, 'No.'"
Well, there you have it. The babies must be thrown out with the bathwater. So a new campaign launches this weekend during the Final Four.
It is intended to express the new, more serious E*Trade. It was perhaps inevitable, therefore, that it would feature people singing and dancing.
There can be few better ways of expressing your gravity than attempting to defy it by weaving your body against the trade winds.
Here we have people declaiming that they are "Type E." These are people who are the bosses of their own financial fate, but aren't too proud to beg for help when they need it.
"They want a better handle, more control," Landsman told Ad Age.
Some might quibble that in this ad, they seem remarkably out of control as they sing and dance in public places and seem to be auditioning for Miley Cyrus' cheery circus troupe.
Still, the idea is that online investing isn't so easy, so it's down to adults to celebrate its difficulties.
Or something like that.