Jumping the Shark: Making FinTech Funny
Is it possible to take a seemingly stogie industry like financial technology (fintech) and find a way to add some humor to it? The answer is it depends on who is writing your content. An effective writer can find a way to add a touch of fun to just about anything as long as it’s appropriate. Fintech, so, what are we talking about here? The stereotypical nerd living in his or her mother’s basement mining bitcoin?
The one thing that anyone doing marketing for the financial technology industry should know by now is that nerd is the new sexy. Those nerds have created some of the most innovative and engaging technology the world has ever seen and gotten rich doing it. In 2016, the fintech raked in more than 17.4 billion dollars in investment capital.
Sure, these are the people behind the cryptocurrency and blockchain phenomenon but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Fintech is responsible for open banking systems, online payments and those apps that teach consumers how to save their money. You might say that fintech is jumping the shark from nerd to the savvy business person these days and marketing is a big part of the excitement. What’s it going to take to make your next fintech marketing campaign funny enough to be memorable?
Why Add Humor?
In an industry that is so serious–because everyone takes their money seriously–why worry about making anyone laugh? Well, because:
- Serious = boring and boring = bounces
- Without a good punchline, few people will care about the content enough to share it with others
- Humor is engaging, which is kind of the whole point
- Being funny humanizes the brand
- Adding humor inspires the audience to trust what you say and the company
Humorous marketing campaigns also get the business noticed. Humor can help define the brand, making it irresistible even if it is dull as dirt. People won’t care about the boring tech because all they will remember is the great video, the humorous blog and that funny ad. How does one accomplish fintech humor, though?
A Picture Creates a Thousand Laughs
Maybe there is very little you can say about a new app or service that is funny, so now what? If you can’t get a laugh with the product then go after the people. It’s a concept that paid off for Money 20/20. They introduced profile picture caricatures of industry influencers at one of their conferences and it worked. The cartoon images allowed the audience to see these important industry leaders as a little more human. Money 20/20 carried their caricature style over to their website, too.
This is just an example of how the right picture can add spice to what would otherwise be dull marketing. Your visual could be a funny logo to make the brand stand out or a cartoon image at the top of each blog post.
Self Deprecating Humor
Maybe the best way to draw attention to a fintech brand is to poke a little fun at it. Instamojo used the technique in their “6 Reasons to Not Choose This Fee Payment Platform.” As the name suggests, they listed six reasons you shouldn’t consider using their service. For example, number one was:
“You can sign up with them in under 1 minute.”
See what they did there? They applied a little reverse psychology to make the content ironic. People like brands that don’t take themselves too seriously.
Watch this video. No, really watch it. It won’t take long. TransferWise made a spoof video, one of many, to show how easy it is to use their money transfer service. In this spoof video, they poke fun not only at themselves but at their major competition, too–banking.
Done right, video content marketing can be a brand’s superpower and it’s flexible. You can create spoof videos like the one TransferWise did or you do animation, pretty kitties, your favorite celebrity — whatever works for your company. Don’t limit your video to commercials, either. Use it to explain what you do, to announce new products and put a funny one on your landing page to increase traffic.
Speaking of Funny Videos
How about that Epic Strut guy? Probably one of the most effective ways to turn your fintech marketing plan into something viral is to create an unforgettable funny character like Moneysupermarket’s Dave. Did you notice Dave and his tight shorts got over 88,000 views? Dave is the hero in a number of Moneysupermarket commercials.
The point is humor isn’t about the industry. Funny marketing will take on a life of its own no matter what product or service you represent–even something boring like fintech.
Darla F is a full-time freelance writer published internationally and an award-winning author. Over the last decade, she has ghostwritten memoirs for a successful entrepreneur and created byline pieces for USAToday, Jillian Michaels, USARiseUP, New York Times — About.com, Multibrief, MedCity News, LiveStrong and AOL. Darla is known for her ability to take complex topics and make them clear to anyone.