Lights, Camera, Corporate Selfie?

Posted by Lawrence Pruss on Dec 2, 2015 9:00:00 AM

MEMPHIS, Tenn., December 2, 2015 – Videos are becoming a critical part of the online identities for many companies. For financial institutions (FIs), the questions of the day are both “could” or “should” they make use of online videos.

We will address the “should,” at the end of this article, but certainly, online videos “could” serve as the business equivalent of a selfie. They are a way of connecting with customers and illustrating what an FI is: a group of humans with their own thoughts, passions and flaws.

When it comes to engaging audiences, Retailers already know nothing beats a video. With its strong visuals combined with audio, a video quickly grabs a person’s attention. It can also be extremely humanizing.

According to, YouTube gets three billion hits per day and more than 48 hours of video are uploaded every second.  Additionally, good branding campaigns are available on other popular sites like Vimeo and Vine.

Using online videos to educate and sell is one of the top tactics Forrester Research recently highlighted FIs could learn from their Retail peers.

According to Forrester, as far back as 2011, more than three in 10 Retailers surveyed found videos to be an effective marketing tactic on their websites.

Great retail examples exist from Dove (Real Beauty Sketches) and Budweiser’s (Puppy Love); each driving more than 50 million YouTube views and evoking human emotion.

According to Forrester, Web visits where the prospect views a video yield conversion rates at more than twice the rate of visits where no video was viewed.

And, if your potential consumers/members are millennials, then that’s all the more reason to get into video advertising. In a post by, 18- to 34-year-olds said they found online ads the most influential.

While, for some time now, people have been using the internet and YouTube to make fun of financial institutions; FIs have only recently caught on to the value of online videos.

For a video to be effective, it must be funny, entertaining and/or inspirational. Simply pushing products won’t cut it. Customers, especially Millennials, want honest humanizing content.

While not common, fortunately, there exist some very good examples of honest, humanizing, and fun online video content coming from financial institutions:

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) last year produced a number of “movie like” trailers promoting its mortgage products and driving more than a million views. 

Toronto Dominion (TD Bank) had one of its videos go viral producing more than 22 million views and highlighting TD thanking various customers. 

DNB bank in Norway recently recruited Norway’s most famous choir, the Norwegian Broadcasting Boys Choir, to sing all of the messages for its automated, touch-tone telebank. For the entire Christmas season, every word on DNB’s phone banking system was sung by the choir. During December, the telebank was called more than 2 million times. For contrast, the entire population of Norway is only 4.9 million people.

American FIs, like Bank of America, US Bank and Wells Fargo have also been developing clever videos focusing on financial education, community involvement, environment, business and providing advice.

Online video can be a great place to rerun popular TV spots or test media concepts before investing in more expensive TV media. Additionally, if a company has an entertaining story or a creative way of telling it; attention can be captured for longer than a traditional television advertisement might run.  A great example comes from Common Wealth Credit Union. It enrolled a young spokesperson to engage the 17-25 year old demographic; resulting in the development of a simple, low cost, and highly effective mini-series highlighting the differences between credit unions and banks. The three part series which was approximately five minutes long and watched by more than 200K people, has become an advertising cult classic, and referenced as an example of how to reach the Millennial segment – accomplished through honest humanizing content.

So, to answer our original question: “Should” online videos be your institution’s version of a selfie?

Based on our research, yes!

Online videos are a cost effective way to communicate with your existing customers, members and/or prospects. They should serve as “selfies” to represent who your company really is: human.

Just keep in mind; those online videos need to be funny, entertaining or inspirational. 

Lawrence Pruss
Senior Vice President
Strategic Resource Management, Inc. (SRM)
5100 Poplar Ave., Suite 2500
Memphis, TN 38137
C 814.934.8954
T 800.748.2577

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