What’s become of the baby?

Why is there a new baby on E-Trade commercials? Why does he have a new voice? Why is he less funny?

Don’t ask E-Trade. They’re pretending it’s the same kid, with the headline on their landing page announcing “The E-Trade Baby is back!”

Here are some possible explanations:

1) They didn’t shoot enough footage of the original baby before he turned big and uncute.

2) E-Trade got a new CMO who wanted a baby who was “on his team.”

3) The original copywriter left Grey and is now an ECD somewhere.

4) The original copywriter was also the original baby voice.

5) Somebody thought it would be a good idea to “optimize” the campaign as it headed into its second year.

My guess is the answer is some mix of all of the above. Really wonderful ad campaigns truly are lightning in a bottle, much more so than anyone associated with them would ever admit. Change even one element of the mix, and the spark is gone.

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