BUSINESSWEEK ONLINE : APRIL 3, 2000 ISSUE
COVER STORY

Branding a Bull, Kemper-Style


You might be soon calling Robert J. Froehlich the Frank Perdue of the mutual fund industry.

Froehlich, who also goes by the moniker ''Dr. Bob,'' is the global investment strategist at Chicago-based Kemper Funds, a division of Scudder Kemper Investments. The firm's marketing people describe him as ''plainspoken,'' ''intelligent but not intimidating,'' and ''utterly Midwestern.'' These are some of the reasons that Scudder Kemper has decided to turn Froehlich into a star. The firm will soon release a $4 million print advertising campaign featuring Froehlich.

Undoubtedly another reason Scudder Kemper is ''branding'' itself by featuring Froehlich is that he's an unabashed bull. He has produced a series of audio tapes called From Wall Street to Main Street that extols the great benefits of investing in stocks. He has penned a recent book, The Three Bears are Dead!, which makes the case that the ''three bears'' of investing--inflation, interest rates, and government spending--all died in 1997. And Froehlich is a big believer in ''Boomernomics''--that is, that baby boomers are just starting to drive the economy and stock market and that their impact will be much greater than anyone thought, prolonging the bull market well into the 2010s. The Chicago Tribune wrote about Froehlich, ''There are [those] who have the eyes to see the dust in the distance, ears to hear the hoofbeats of the thundering herd, and noses to smell the money to be made. One of those is Robert Froehlich.''

In addition to the upcoming ads, Froehlich's face graces a Kemper Funds coffee mug, flashlight, mousepad, and notepad. His visage is even etched upon an aromatherapy candle in the shape of Mt. Rushmore that has been re-christened, for promotional purposes, ''Mt. Rush-to-Save-More.'' ''The candle's scent is meant to calm investors who are agitated by all the market volatility,'' says Susan Crawshaw, director of marketing at Kemper Funds.

Froehlich has appeared regularly on CNBC's Squawk Box and CNNfn. He has also been on Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser. Says Crawshaw, ''There are so many investment vehicles out there. We just want people to to be able to identify with Kemper. And folks just love Bob because he's a real person.''

By Marcia Vickers in New York

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