Modern Marketing

Marketing Briefing: Our new Acquire Podcast is out

  • What a couple of weeks it’s been! Not only have we wrapped up our Acquire Conference, but we launched our first-ever Acquire Podcast.
  • In other news, we’ve got Ladder’s morbidly funny ad, and a Gen Zer’s thoughts on marketing to Gen Zers.

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Marketing Briefing: Our new Acquire Podcast is out

Who knows how to market financial services to a Gen Zer better than a Gen Zer?

Here’s a story for you: 

San Francisco-based Playbook is a financial management app focused on moderately wealthy millennials.

The company went about seeking Millennials’ attention the classic way: Instagram. And it was pretty successful in that method, according to Playbook’s CEO David Hegarty. 

When it came to getting Gen Z’s attention, the company knew TikTok would be the go-to. But mastering the video platform proved to be pretty challenging.

“Out of the gate, we found Instagram to work effectively for us,” said Hegarty. “But it took us a little bit of time to figure out how to get TikTok to work well for us.”

The algorithms are very different, said Hegarty. It’s to the point that a A+ Instagram post may be nothing but a floating potato in the world of TikTok.

One example Hegarty gives is an infographic featuring a jug of water, which explains tax advantaged priorities. The GIF is the company’s highest ranking Instagram post.

But on TikTok? Zilch. 

To get that post to work, the company had to make some tweaks to translate it into TikTok talk:

“Now the GIF is a green screen behind someone,” said Hegarty. “And we had to have somebody talking to the messages in that GIF.

Slowly but surely, Playbook has been picking up its TikTok game. The company was able to hit 600,000 views in just a few months.

Regarding who’s the mastermind behind the tweaks to Playbook’s TikTok strategies – that would be Olivia Jacob, Hegarty’s daughter.

As Playbook’s social media intern, Jacob has played a role in determining everything from script to text positioning. She even hosts a fair share of the videos. 

“I was like, there's a lot of stuff we could do to improve content views, and some of these things are really easy,” said Jacob. “Things like formatting, but also things that a consumer passively recognizes like, ‘This is a video I should watch,’ or ‘this is a video in a format that I like.’”

One thing the company has done is split a lot of the videos into Part I and Part II formats.

“The first part will be that crazy story to get people hooked. And then that part two will be like, hey, and none of this could happen if all of this weird truth about money didn't actually exist,” said Jacob.

Another thing has been to focus the TikTok material on things surrounding finance or financial management but without too much of a ‘do this, do that’ type of vibe.

The go-to topics tend to include things like bizarre stories and life hacks.

On Valentine’s Day, for example, the company posted a video about the history of diamonds.

“Money is scary. And finance and taxes are not that sexy,” said Jacob. “But how the inflation rate in Zimbabwe made a loaf of bread cost millions a few years ago? That's pretty wild. So we try to pick up on things that are interesting and that have played out in real life.”

In its recent ad, Ladder brings on the dark humor

Advertising your services and products is no easy task when your business is built on the subject of death.

It’s probably why you haven’t seen too many funeral homes begging you to check out their state-of-the-art coffins…

Death is just not fun to think about. 

Or is it?

Digital life insurance company Ladder released a new ad in October last year, adding a splash of dark humor to this whole topic of what happens to your loved ones when you die.

In the commercial, a dad returns home to his loving family trying to kill him – that includes Snowball, the fluffy family dog with an explosive in its mouth. 

The guy isn’t perturbed in the least, though – not even when his son greets him with an icy ‘Hello, father,’ as he opens the fridge to a knife whooshing by him.

The slogan?

‘Life insurance so good, they’re gonna want you dead.’

It seems consumers may have gotten a taste for finding the funny in the morbid. 

As one youtuber commenting on Ladder’s ad puts it:

“Never thought I'd see the day an actual insurance company would make a joke about killing someone on purpose. Bravo.”

If there has indeed been a shift in consumers’ taste for dark humor, then the change bodes well for financial service providers – which often deal with the not-so-fun side of life. 

As for why this is happening – who knows? Maybe it’s the pandemic, which in a lot of ways has been feeling like one big disturbing joke. 

It’s finally happening: Tearsheet’s Acquire Podcast is now live!

This Tuesday, the first episode of Tearsheet’s Acquire Podcast hit the shelves – or, more accurately, the earbuds.

Every two weeks, you’ll hear from our very own Rebecca Cohen, head of Tearsheet Studios, as she, together with top marketing experts in the field, covers some of the hottest new marketing campaigns in the industry.

In this episode, Rebecca spoke with Envestnet’s CMO Mary Ellen Dugan, to talk about the company’s first rebrand in TWENTY years!


Side note: Know anyone who might be a good fit for the podcast? Email Rebecca directly at [email protected] 

What we're reading

How fintechs are showing support for Ukraine (The Fintech Times)

Co-founder of Revolut Nik Storonsky posts an anti-war letter on the company's website (Forbes)

FS providers need to pay special attention to language as tax season approaches (AdWeek)

Banks are getting creative with their marketing campaigns (The Financial Brand)

What we're writing

What’s Happening in Payments Ep. 2: Tap to mobile, crypto-backed cards, and PayPal’s fraudulent accounts

In this episode, Tearsheet reporter Ismail Umar talks PayPal, tap to mobile payments and crypto-backed cards

‘Consumers want brands that resonate with who they are’: Exploring the changing meaning of loyalty with Mastercard’s Kyle Clark

The meaning of customer loyalty is changing in the aftermath of the pandemic. Mastercard’s Kyle Clark says financial service providers need to adapt quickly in order to stay relevant.

How Stash uses clarity, consistence, and cohesion to bolster its brand identity

As Stash grew its product base during Covid, the company faced a new challenge in figuring out how to define itself to consumers. At Tearsheet’s Acquire Conference, Chidi Achara, chief creative officer at the company, explained how Stash used ‘the three Cs’ to reach users.

‘Would you rather talk about your weight or your money to your friends?’: Acorns’ Kennedy Reynolds

In 2021, 60% of Americans couldn't pass a basic financial literacy test. Financial platforms consider it their responsibility to educate customers and offer the tools to help them make good life decisions.

Behind PayPal’s evolution as a charitable platform

PayPal raised $19.6 billion in 2021 for nonprofits and causes, which is a 10% hike from 2020. As of 2022, PayPal has teamed up with Chase, Wells Fargo, and RED on donations for pandemic relief globally.

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