E*Trade Milks the Talking Baby on Social Sites

You just know a guy who uses his Blackberry to “organize the occasional cuddle battle with a bad girl” is going to have a Facebook page. And a YouTube channel.

Indeed, the very popular E*Trade Baby has been set up with both forms of online presence, as well as a Twitter account, to generate buzz about his upcoming third appearance in a Super Bowl commercial.

Created by Grey New York, E*Trade’s agency of record, the so-called “Talking Baby” commercial was listed by TiVo as the most-viewed Super Bowl ad, according to E*Trade. “We decided to have Baby return due to his widespread appeal,” said E*Trade Chief Marketing Officer Nicholas Utton.

He said last year’s Super Bowl ads featuring the grown-up-sounding infant with computer-generated lip movements “resulted in double-digit percent growth in new accounts” immediately following the football game. Utton said the “social media aspects” of this year’s viral campaign are aimed at “building anticipation” for the new Super Bowl commercial.

The branded YouTube channel now includes what E*Trade refers to as an “irreverent outtakes video” that features Baby in a number of scenes including some where he is joined by other babies, one where he is hooked to a polygraph and one where he spits up his milk upon attempting to say how he feels about the economy in 2008.

E*Trade is running the outtakes video in cinemas before and after the Super Bowl, hoping to reach 12 million viewers of R-rated movies. Additional publicity will come from sponsored search ads as well as banners and buttons pointing to the video before, during and after the game.

Baby’s Twitter account describes him as a “spokesperson, child prodigy and financial wizard” who is “taking control with E*Trade.” And what will he tweet? All we could learn from an E*Trade spokesperson was “general tweets about him getting ready for the big game.”

Expect a diaper change to be in there somewhere.

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