It’s back! Charles Schwab’s entertaining financial video series returned recently after a five month hiatus. It still features the deadpan humor of host Mike Cianfrocca, is shorter in length—a minute rather than 90 seconds—and is called Tweet of the Week rather than the old version’s 60 Seconds in Money. But these financial videos are still aimed straight at the heart of America’s largest—and untapped—generation, the Millennials.
The series is silly, but not really. The latest installment on December 14th was an update on Santa’s credit score. Says Cianfrocca: “Santa Claus shouldn’t have any trouble getting a loan this holiday season… Santa’s credit score is 777… For those of you who don’t have an army of elves to help you manage your credit, you’re in luck.”
At 36-seconds, a photo of jolly ol’ Santa appears, then a call-to-action overlay at the bottom of the screen that clicks through to another video. The second video reveals a more serious person, the head of the Schwab Foundation giving credit score tips.
Schwab does a lot of videos. Most are by serious executives that are watched only a small number of times. A recent video by Chief Investment Strategist Liz Ann Sonders about the Fiscal Cliff was seen by nearly 20,700. But it’s hard to imagine your average 20-something ever clicking on any of them.
A recent study released by Prudential Retirement showed that Millennials are concerned about their future. The sample indicated a desire to allocate 17% of leftover monthly income to savings for retirement.
Schwab, like every other investment firm, wants Millennials to like them. The potential is a tidal wave of business. Born between 1980 and 2000, the Millennial Generation will account for 50% of the global workforce by 2020.
Prudential has a variety of unorganized videos. Merrill Lynch, CitiGroup, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, and Fidelity have YouTube channels with plenty of material, none aimed at 20-somethings. Wells Fargo has a well-developed channel with some highly produced, video documentaries of community nonprofits that are appealing. Vanguard has a couple of hip ones.
Yet no other major investment firm targets twenty-somethings using financial videos in such an intelligent and clever way as Charles Schwab.
Another Schwab video series was the Oh Chuck! I Blew My Cash Contest that ran earlier in 2012 and solicited videos from people who made stupid financial mistakes. Yet despite television commercials and a Facebook contest to boost Oh Chuck!, the video submitted by the grand prize winner—a guy who spent $600 buying a bouncy house—was viewed only 1,230 times.
Well, okay. That’s not bad.
But considering the last installment before the rebranding of Cianfrocca’s 60 Seconds in Money was watched by almost 265,000, bouncy-bounce was far from breath-taking.
The Tweet of the Week series has yet to be really noticed with the Santa episode racking up only 130 views in the first five days. If Schwab sticks with it, I’ll bet those numbers will grow.
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