Wealthsimple fights the mad financial world

The digital investing service strengthens its positioning as a haven for simplicity with its second mass campaign.

Financial platform Wealthsimple is tapping into how overwhelming the traditional investing world can be – and how it can be a solution – with its second mass campaign.

In “Mad World,” a young man tries to make it through his day while trying to absorb the countless, sometimes contradictory advice on how to best handle his investments from dozens of different people. When it seems like it has all become too much, a laptop with the Wealthsimple home screen appears to end the spot.

Wealthsimple is an online, automated advisor that aims to provide a “set it and forget it” approach, putting funds into a diversified range of stocks with the goal of reducing the cost and the risk of traditional investing. It also positions itself as a service that lets clients avoid the stressful and risky approach of picking individual stocks.

The new spot was directed by Martin de Thurah, who was also behind Under Armour’s “Rule Yourself” spot featuring Olympian Michael Phelps, which won the Grand Prix in Film Craft at Cannes last year.

Last year’s “Future You” was Wealthsimple’s first go-to-market ad campaign, and focused on making investing and saving less intimidating for millennials new to that world. While “Mad World” features a barrage of anxiety-inducing situations, Rudy Adler, chief product officer at Wealthsimple, says the new campaign still fits with the Wealthsimple brand promise of being a simple solution. The difference is that is now being communicated through a story that shows how complicated the alternative is.

“Simplicity is the key to our brand, it’s just evolved to the point that we can communicate that through stories,” Adler says. “We still wanted people to connect with the idea that investing is really overwhelming and scary at times, especially when you look at financial shows on TV where people are screaming at you and making you feel like you’re doing everything wrong. Our intention was to find a simple truth and put it into story form people could connect with.”

The new approach is also reflective of the fact that Wealthsimple has grown and become much more established over the past year.

“The first campaign was designed to be a little bit more informational,” Adler says. “We were a newer company, but now we’re a little older and we’ve grown a lot, so we’ve moved past the stage of trying to tell people specifically what we do.”

From a product perspective, Wealthsimple has also launched Wealthsimple Black, a newer service for high-income earners to encourage its millennial target to save for bigger, longer-term financial goals like retirement under a simplified pricing structure. In addition to perks like lower fees and taxes, Wealthsimple Black users also get a “priority pass” that gives them access to more than 1,000 airport lounges across the globe, and at a lower minimum investment ($100,000) than what traditional services typically offer.

“It boils down to finding ways to encourage younger people to invest more,” Adler says. “We brainstormed different incentives to provide people, and the priority pass stood out as something that a lot of people would want, because it’s something that appealed to a lot of us as well. It’s a bit of an experiment, but the reaction has been positive so far.”