Weaving a new approach to talking money with millennials.
Telling millennials how to invest their money is about as easy as telling them what to eat, watch, or wear. Fortunes have been lost in the effort. But we found a way.
Wealthfront is the world’s largest and fastest growing automated investment service.
Recognized by media outlets around the world as the technology overturning the financial advisory industry — one of the world’s oldest and, some would say, stodgiest — Wealthfront uses powerful algorithms to mimic the work done by human investment advisors.
Because their technology can, effectively, be everywhere at once, they’re able to incorporate many more data sources into their investment decisions than any human ever could. At a fraction of the cost that human advisors bill their clients. A compelling argument, but a complex one that can’t risk losing audiences in its delicate early stages.
Investing is scary. Young people work damn hard for the money they’ve earned, and despite the grumblings of older generations, they’re keenly attuned to the prospective return on every investment they make — be it a flight to Fiji that’ll do wonders for their Instagram account or a stock market investment that they truly believe will prosper.
The thing is, they very often don’t believe stock market investments will prosper — deeply ingrained in many post-Recession millennial psyches is a resentment of our historically uncertain stock market, which translates to a major share of young peoples’ savings sitting idle in savings accounts, where the only ones benefitting are the banks holding them.
Also, investing is expensive. Or, at least, it sounds like it should be.
The phrase “robo-advisors” is a thing. While Wealthfront’s insanely smart algorithms are, in fact, the killer app that, time and time again, outperform the performance of their human counterparts — at a small percentage of the cost to customers that those human counterparts charge — they’re scary because they aren’t human.
In an era when AI is starting to take form in ways that actually benefit us, shaking the stigma nurtured by generations of sci-fi storytellers forecasting our doom at the hands of intelligent machines is not an easy feat in any corner of the technology industry. When real money is involved, putting trust in technology is harder than it is when allowing an algorithm to choose the next song on our playlist.
How do we dispel these fears and show that Wealthfront is smart investing for young people in a way that those young people won’t ignore?
Of course, two bros knitting on a couch was the solution. The fact that they weren’t knitting properly didn’t seem to be a major issue (see Figures C and D below) — the fact that they were voicing important questions about investing with Wealthfront while plainly outlining a path for futures built on financial stability was enough to create a hit that resonated with TV audiences around the country.
Other hard-hitting comedic :30s we created found new millennial-friendly ways of tackling the big questions about investing.
The commercials were a hit both on air and online; within a month of its launch, “Knitting” earned its way onto Adweek’s Most Engaging Ads list. Wealthfront saw enough site visits and conversations after each airing, geotracked to each region in which the spots aired, to continue expand its media buy week after week until the series had been on TV for six months and aired thousands of times nationwide.
An item was crossed off of the Nurture bucket list when one of Hollywood’s big talent agencies called us to present a well known film actor as a candidate for our next round of Wealthfront ads. That actor’s day rate was 6x higher than our entire production budget for the commercials and you will, unfortunately, not be seeing him knitting for Wealthfront on TV.
Awards & Recognition
ADDY Award Regional/National TV Commercial 2016 - Bronze
Internet Advertising Competition 2016 - Best Financial Services Online Video
Adweek’s Most Engaging Ads List, June 4th, 2015
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