Nasdaq Doesn't Ad Up

Have you seen this year's batch of Nasdaq (NAS: NDAQ) ads?

I understand why the stock exchange advertises and pays up for naming rights and sponsorships. There's a lot of money to be made as a marketplace for investors, and Nasdaq needs to make sure that its name is out there for both eager traders and companies that dream of going public someday.

Its latest ads feature Nasdaq-listed companies.

One TV commercial features Hasbro (NAS: HAS) and Zipcar (NAS: ZIP) .

On paper, the pairing makes sense. Hasbro and Zipcar are part of the new breed of companies that have three-lettered ticker symbols but trade on Nasdaq. It makes sense for the exchange to promote that three letters doesn't mean that a stock is listed on the rival New York Stock Exchange.

However, what's the deal with Hasbro? Its larger rival also trades on Nasdaq despite having just three letters in its ticker symbol. Hasbro has also been a bit of a disappointment lately, missing Wall Street's profit targets in three of the past four quarters.

Zipcar, on the other hand, is the top dog in its class. The leading car-sharing service now has more than 700,000 members paying to rent its fleet of thousands of cars -- gas and insurance included -- by the hour or day. The problem here is that the stock went public at $18 last year. The stock is trading for a little more than half that these days.

Another spot features Tesla Motors (NAS: TSLA) and Zynga (NAS: ZNGA) .

Zynga is in the same boat as Zipcar -- and not just alphabetically speaking. Zynga is at the head of its class when it comes to social gaming, but the company that went public at $10 six months has gone on to shed roughly 40% of that value. Is Nasdaq trying to market itself as the home to busted IPOs? No offense, Mark Zuckerberg.

Tesla is the best choice of the ads. It's the American company making cool electric cars. However, at a time when gasoline prices are falling, the interest in cars running on alternative fuel systems is waning.

Nasdaq may have a point to make with those TV ads, but it needs to work on its aim.

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At the time thisarticle was published The Motley Fool owns shares of Hasbro, Zipcar, and Tesla Motors. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Hasbro, Tesla Motors, and Zipcar. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story, except for Zipcar. Rick is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.

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