Christmas like the Griswolds

Most financial services marketing looks a lot more like something you would find in a Hallmark movie and there is nothing wrong with it, aside from expectations.  Let’s face it, there is nothing wrong with the Hallmark channel, it certainly gets some airtime at my house this time of year, but you won’t find it being a topic of water-cooler conversation or quoted around the dinner table.

So what is it that makes something go viral?

I heard on the news that an airlineLet’s take a cue from one of my favorites, Clark W. Griswold:

Be Aggressive.

No one gets a new land speed record without applying a “non-nutrient silicon-based kitchen lubricant that creates a surface 500 times more slippery than any cooking oil” to their sled.

In financial services we like to talk about how we minimize risks. This is true, but it does not mean that you can’t be aggressive with your branding. Perhaps your brand needs more speed? Faster time to get an image posted to social or quicker adjustments for a rate change? Either way, being aggressive is key to being memorable.

Go Big. 25,000 twinkling lights and a tree that takes up the whole living room says a little about your ambition. There is a reason every time someone passes a house with too many lights, they refer to it as the Griswold house. Social media is built for actions like these. Think big if you want to get attention. Sure, if you are a smaller financial firm, maybe big for you doesn’t mean buying TV space in your market, maybe it’s doing a client appreciation event that really matters, not just because your competitors do it.

Big does not always mean expensive. Perhaps your brand simply needs to think bigger about it’s personality. Maybe your staff is waiting to display this? We’ve worked with several brands lately that admitted this has been an extremely fun outlet for staff to share their enthusiasm for the brand in a way they could never participate before.

Show some emotion. You don’t have to drop-kick a reindeer, but showing how excited you and your customers are takes a little raw emotion. Often it is hard to get emotional at the office, you may need to head out into the community and share. Give people a reason to take a photo of your service.


Be Giving. No, you don’t have to host uncle Eddie, his whole family and his dog for Christmas, but generosity has a way of finding itself onto social media. Take for instance what Waffle House did during a snowstorm in Atlanta, serving food and allowing patrons to stay inside to keep warm.

Do something unexpected to be generous, maybe it’s walking Uncle Eddie through the Wal-Mart to buy him and his family some nice presents.

Have a Merry Christmas from all of us at Social Assurance. We hope to speak with you soon in the New Year.

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