Wealthsimple looks on the bright side

The online investment platform shifts from relating to feelings of financial anxiety to showing a path to success.

Automated investing platform Wealthsimple has built its young brand by tapping into how intimidating managing money can be for some people. But the brand is showing that there is also a more positive side to investing in its newest campaign.

Wealthsimple’s latest round of “Investing For Humans” videos, once again created internally and directed by award-winning documentarian Errol Morris, talk to clients about their history with money and managing their finances. However, this time around, the clients are more optimistic and focus on how they have found financial success and stability by using Wealthsimple.

This round also brings in recognizable faces such as actress Aubrey Plaza, actor-director Mark Duplass and actor Brian Tyree Henry speaking about their personal history with money in their own 30-second spots and in longer-form video versions of the company’s “Money Diaries” blog posts.

The new videos launched online on Jan. 5, with televised versions of Plaza and Duplass’ videos debuting across North America during yesterday’s Golden Globes broadcast. From here, the campaign will run on TV, including during high-profile broadcasts like the Grammys and NFL playoffs. The spots will also run digitally on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, and will hit European markets as part of the Canadian company’s ongoing international expansion efforts.

The first round of Wealthsimple’s “Investing For Humans” work, like much of the brand’s marketing up to that point, focused on anxiety people have about managing their finances, positioning the company as one that understands clients’ struggles and can help them relax with its simple, automated investing solution that could be an alternative to big, impersonal banks. But Mike Giepert, executive creative director at Wealthsimple, says this round was more about showing would-be clients that there is a positive side to money, whether it is being financial secure or simply feeling confident that you are on the right path.

“We would have been foolish to keep going with messages like ‘money is confusing and I’m afraid of it,’” Giepert says. “We had to prove that there are people out there that feel great about their financial future and that our product helps with that.”

While previous creative also took more of a big-picture approach to talking about finances, this round of creative also has more of a direct link to Wealthsimple’s product, with people talking more specifically about why they like the platform and showing it in action.

“We don’t want to just be perceived as a brand that can just talk about money, we want to show people we have a product that solves those anxieties,” Giepert says. “We’re still a new brand and online automated investing is still a new concept for a lot people. But we have more awareness than we did two years ago, so now we want to show you why we think the thing we make is really cool and we think you’ll love it.”

The videos in the platform launch also focused on “real people” telling their stories as opposed to celebrity spokespeople – with the exception of Morris, who eventually appeared in his own video.

But big names have been a major part of Wealthsimple’s branded content strategy, with people from actors and musicians to entrepreneurs and activists penning blog posts about their own financial struggles and paths to success as part of the company’s online “Money Diaries.” Giepert says the learnings from “Money Diaries” have been applied to the video version, particularly when it comes to taking people’s natural curiosity about celebrities and bringing it back to the fact that a lot of people have had their own anxieties and struggles with money.

“What we find is that so many of the people we interview started out from really humble beginnings,” Giepert says. “They grew up poor or had a lot of roadblocks early in their careers. There’s a tendency to think celebrities are born with a silver spoon, and a lot of them are, but it’s really fascinating for a lot of people to see the path successful people they know and admire have gone on.”