With several years of talking head experience behind them, many mutual fund and exchange-traded fund (ETF) firms are getting the knack of using video to engage, educate and even inspire.
From my perspective, these three videos released in the last four weeks or so are among the best of the year.
Can you think of any other investment firm that regularly cautions investors to stay away from its products?
If you cannot tolerate substantial losses in short periods of time stay away from leverage! http://t.co/zlW3CehqWJ— Direxion Alts (@DirexionAlts) December 3, 2013
Given its leveraged and inverse fund offerings, DirexionShares is practically obligated to provide product education. But they’ve really risen to the occasion with an ambitious set of animated videos that break down what would otherwise be dry issues to have to slog through in text. A transcript and glossary are made available as accompanying pieces.
Double-digit views for all but the first video must be a disappointment. More prominence for the series on the site, including the home page, would lift its visibility.
Go to the landing page and not the individual YouTube video page to see the full presentation.
"We Love Great People"
This new BlackRock video in support of the GLAAD Ally Network initiative employs a lot of familiar devices used in videos—fast pace, multiple smiling faces, people holding signs.
What makes it different is that some of the faces belong to named, senior people at BlackRock. Including the Global Head of iShares, the General Counsel and the deputy chief operating officer adds gravitas. At a time when other firms in other industries are embracing "diversity as a competitive advantage," the video is one way of asserting what appears to be authentic leadership in this space.
The YouTube description explains that BlackRock was recently recognized as a "Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality" by the Human Rights Campaign. Because this video is about something so different than most BlackRock videos, I think it could have been launched with more context—maybe a landing page or a press release. This is not a recruiting video per se, but I could see BlackRock extending its life by adding the video to the firm's LinkedIn Careers page.
The Animated Case For Diversification
Back in the day, all asset management marketers had was an efficient frontier chart to convince investors that they may want to diversify their U.S. domestic portfolios.
Franklin Templeton raises the bar with this video on home country bias, released in late November. The animation is entertaining but the story had to come first, and it’s in the storytelling where I think this video excels. It's the third in an Investor Education series introduced in late 2012.
Keep an eye out for RTB's annual Content Highlights of the year, to be published on Monday, December 16. This is a random, thoroughly subjective list that has no articulated criteria. (For example, see last year's post.) That notwithstanding, if you have a nomination, please post here or email me no later than Wednesday, December 11.