Friday, September 21, 2007

Chase Manhattan's Nest Eggs Revisited

Chase Bank no longer offers trust services. (Click "Creating a legacy" under Plan your Future on the Chase site and you get an invitation to e-mail a "Financial Advisor.") Trusts now fall under the JPMorgan brand.

Half a century ago, Chase was more than a leading corporate fiduciary. Chase Manhattan ran the best-known trust advertising campaign of all time.

Here's an early example from 1956. You can buy the ad on eBay for $18.00.

Note that before the Kennedy era, middle-aged businessmen weren't expected to look physically fit. That's why potbellies were nicknamed "corporations." Surprised to see no businesswomen in this club car? In 1956 I doubt that a woman could have been invited as a guest.

By 1965 the Chase Manhattan nest egg ads had embedded themselves in popular culture. Don't remember if the New Haven RR's 5:31 to Darien still had a club car by then, but it certainly had a bar car. If I had poked in my head and shouted, "A better way to take care of your nest egg," a chorus of well-lubricated voices would surely have responded, "Talk to the people at Chase Manhattan!"

This 1965 ad rightly assumed that everyone knew the catch phrase.

For more about Chase Manhattan's nest egg campaign, click here.

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