Robinhood will air its first Super Bowl ad amid GameStop stock controversy
Robinhood, the trading app at the center of the stock market frenzy around GameStop, will air its first Super Bowl commercial, even as it deals with the fallout surrounding the controversy.
The company will use the Big Game to lean into its mission of democratizing trading, even as that is being called into question. Robinhood was criticized for halting trading of GameStop and other stocks that saw meteoric rises last week and is now facing dozens of lawsuits as a result.
Of course, Robinhood’s decision to air a Super Bowl commercial came before last week’s dustup. Christina Smedley, chief marketing officer, says when she joined the company five months ago it was clear there was a transformational moment happening in technology, finance, and the democracy of the two, that’s accelerated amid the pandemic.
While the company debated pulling out of the game, it ultimately decided to move forward in an effort to educate consumers, according to a person familiar with the situation.
Robinhood has had more than 600,000 app downloads as of last week, according to JMP Securities.
With its 30-second commercial, Robinhood is looking to celebrate how investing has become more accessible and part of everyday life.
“It’s been a transformational year for a group of people who have never participated before, and we wanted to celebrate that,” Smedley says.
Smedley says the creative was born out of her weekly conversations with customers. The spot, created by MediaMonks, pulls from these stories. As part of its campaign that will extend beyond the Super Bowl, Robinhood will also air a series of testimonials from real users.
The spot encourages anyone to think of themselves as investor because they make small investments in themselves every day, from getting up early to run to investing in our education.
While the team initially discussed going a humorous route with the ad, Smedley says they decided money is important to people and the investments they are making are important. By the same token, “We didn’t want it be saccharine sweet, but wanted it to feel relatable,” she says.
Smedley says that diversity was an important part of the Super Bowl campaign, noting that the ad was created by a team of women, including creative director Ximena Keirouz; MediaMonk’s head of integrated film Debora den Iseger, and creative directors Leanne Chabalko and Alexandra Wells; and film director Nina Meredith. The spot also features a diverse cast.
In response to how marketing has been shaped by the controversy, Smedley says that over the past week Robinhood has, “listened really carefully to customers and the people who are coming onto the platform,” and will work to invest more in educational materials and explaining how the situation unfolded. She adds that most of the people on the platform have a long-term approach where they are buying and holding shares.