Simon English: Henderson won't look so special if Jose backfires
Outlook A big hello to Henderson Global Investors, the fund management house with the hostage-to-fortune advertising.
The face for the ads is Jose Mourinho, the Real Madrid manager who just lost rather a big game, the semi-final of the Champions League, to Bayern Munich.
The idea behind the campaign goes something like this:
a) Mourinho is a football manager people have heard of
b) Henderson is a fund manager hardly anyone has heard of
c) Mourinho is known as "the special one"
d) Henderson isn't but would like to be
If you put that all together what do you get?
e) Henderson is, wait for it, "The Other Special Manager".
Rapier-like strategic thinking such as this cannot come cheap.
In fairness, it is difficult to advertise fund managers, since it's a dry subject at best and most of them aren't much cop. Honest ads – we'll get rich on your money, you almost certainly won't – would not meet board approval. So you can see why they go for the famous-man association. The trouble with celebrity endorsement is that it can very quickly go wrong. Ask Tiger Woods.
Now Mourinho is a devoted family man, so there's no chance of that sort of trouble. But he does look a bit less special that he did a week ago. He can't even beat Bayern Munich. Can Henderson beat the stock market? Sometimes. A bit.
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