While relaxing over the Thanksgiving weekend you might have noticed a new trend occurring in television while watching the games: six second ads. As companies look for innovative new ways to get their products in front of consumers they have begun testing out ultra quick TV ads during a break in the game action.
Leading consumer lender SoFi has always been know for innovation and their recent marketing push is no exception. During the weekend of Thanksgiving NFL and college football games SoFi placed ads throughout many of the games. I saw quick form six second spots and as well as the more traditional longer spots. Not only is the form of the ad changing but the substance of the ads is just as innovative as they present their products in a new way.
SoFi is focusing their message on the consumers lifestyle, presenting an understanding as to why someone needed to increase their credit card debt. College tuition, a sickness or a home expense, these life events happen all the time and the message is that SoFi is now here to help you consolidate that debt in the form of a personal loan. They are clearly appealing to their core base of customers, younger and more affluent families as they hope to be their lifetime financial services firm.
They also placed a Black Friday circular with several national newspapers which you can see in the photo below. The ad is a clever take on the typical sales fliers we all see around this time of year. But instead of an ad featuring low prices we see an ad touting much higher prices. The message is that if you are buying gifts on credit cards this holiday season and carrying a balance you will be paying a lot more than the advertised price. It is a message focused on smart spending, giving a better look at the true costs of products when financed.
These new print ads are a conscious effort by SoFi to help consumers better understand how they spend and what debts they are taking on. They feature this URL: www.sofi.com/payitoff which sends consumers to a holiday themed website comparing the cost of a personal loan versus a credit card.
SoFi started out in student loan refinancing, a category they invented back in 2011. They have since morphed into a financial services company that offers a range of different financial products including debt consolidation loans. While SoFi has clearly had a set of challenges this year as their CEO stepped aside amid controversy, the company is still one of the leading innovators in fintech. Clever and unique marketing strategies is one way SoFi is able to remain a market leader.
Todd is the host of PitchIt: the fintech startups podcast, a weekly interview show featuring emerging fintech founders and leading venture capitalists. He is responsible for leading the content team which covers fintech through daily & weekly email newsletters, editorial, virtual events, and in-person conferences. He has been covering fintech, banking, and venture capital for more than 15 years, including speaking regularly at industry events.