Whether you're watching for the halftime show, the commercials, or even the football, the Super Bowl is consistently among the biggest broadcast events of the year. In fact, according to a CTV news release, nearly half of all Canadians tuned in for at least part of the 2022 game.
If you were among the Canadians watching this year, you might have caught the two 2023 TD commercials that aired during the Super Bowl.
The first ad was all about TD Easy Trade™, a direct investing app that not only lets users easily trade stocks and TD ETFs, but learn about investing, too. This commercial touched on some of the current trends to watch out for in the direct investing space, including the rise of crowd-sourced investment advice online and robo-advisors.
The second ad was focused on how many of us would rather talk about anything else other than money, especially during times of economic uncertainty.
According to TD EVP, Global Chief Marketing Officer, Betsey Chung, the message of this year's TD spots at the Super Bowl was simple: whether you're looking to manage your investments on your own through the TD Easy Trade app, or you need to connect with a TD personal banker, TD can help you with your financial goals.
"It's what we're all about. Our goal was to create two ads that we felt would be relevant to the day-to-day lives of our customers," Chung says.
"At the core of the first commercial, which we call the brand spot, are our brand and customer pillars of ease, value, and trusted advice. With our TD Easy Trade commercial on the other hand, we chose to highlight how people can learn to make the right investments with the educational tools offered by TD Easy Trade, which are a key differentiator for us."
Ahead of the 57th Super Bowl, the TD Stories team caught up with Chung, as well as Scott Ignall, SVP and Head of Direct Investing, for a conversation about the Bank's ongoing efforts to connect with customers as well as some important direct investing trends to watch in 2023.
Here's what they had to say:
Everyone can be an investor now
The theme of last year's TD commercial at the Super Bowl (watch it on YouTube here) was that anyone can be an investor with the TD Easy Trade mobile app.
One year later, this continues to be the message that resonates. For Ignall, the impact that the TD Easy Trade app has had on younger investors' interest in direct investing has been particularly exciting, and the trend of more and more young people being introduced to investing is something that he and his team are watching closely.
"We continue to see growth in TD Easy Trade account openings, which tells us that it's resonating with our clients, and particularly those who are new to investing," he says.
For Chung, launching Year Two of the TD Easy Trade marketing campaign during the Super Bowl to reach this demographic – and all first-time investors – was a no-brainer.
"The Super Bowl offers one of the largest audiences in broadcasting," she says.
"It transcends generations and cultures. Even non-football fans tune in for elements like the halftime show or to watch commercials. It also has a strong presence on social media that helps amplify messages."
The success of last year's spot encouraged her team to double down this year, Chung says.
"Last year's Super Bowl spot, 'Becoming an Investor,' was very successful, and so this year we wanted to create two spots that we felt could perform even better. We strived to produce a spot for the Super Bowl that brings our tagline, 'Ready to Help You Move Forward,' to life," she says.
Investing is not a game
Over the past few years, there have been many news stories about the "gamification" of direct investing – which essentially means adding features and services into investing platforms to make it feel more like a video game – especially through trends that arise on social media platforms.
The proliferation of so-called meme stocks, or stocks that have gone viral, is one example of this. Those who opt into these games, or trends, hope to make big returns, quick. But this approach isn't without risk.
"Gamification has the pitfall of treating something that is very serious, which is investing, as a game, versus the way we look at it: you should learn, you should educate yourself, you should use all the tools and capabilities of your financial services provider and then come in and make a well-informed decision about your finances when you feel it's the right time for you," says Ignall.
A first-time investor can be a do-it-yourself investor
With do-it-yourself investing accessible through numerous online and mobile platforms, first-time investors might feel inclined to use a robo-advisor – an artificial intelligence or algorithm-based service – since it can be a "set it and forget it" approach. While this might represent the best option for some investors, it's not the only option available for first-time investors, especially those who are looking to learn more about how to manage their own investments.
"With a robo-advisor, you may have less direct control over the investments that you make, whereas TD Easy Trade allows you to pick your investments, decide when you want to buy and when you want to sell powered by a very powerful and dynamic user interface," Ignall says.
"TD Easy Trade also offers no minimum investment amounts or account maintenance fees, unlimited commission-free TD ETF trades, and clients also get 50-commission free stock trades per year."
Self-directed investors can be resilient
Headlines about a possible recession have been in the news cycle for months. However, despite choppy or challenging markets, Ignall has noticed that TD Easy Trade users continue to use the app.
"Anytime there's volatility in the market, there's always a concern that investors will turn away from the markets, but we're finding there's still strong engagement with TD Easy Trade and there's still very strong interest," he says.
Ignall thinks education is crucial to helping empower self-directed investors during challenging times.
"The need for dynamic education experiences and learning capabilities is another trend we're seeing and something we think we're on the cutting edge of at TD," he explains.
A core component of TD Easy Trade is its built-in educational videos and resources which help customers build confidence.
Crowdsourcing is out
The biggest trend explored in the TD Easy Trade commercial at the Super Bowl was crowdsourced investment advice. From well-intentioned family members to anonymous message boards and social media commenters, there's no shortage of it these days.
According to the 2022 TD Fraud Survey, more than a quarter of the respondents surveyed (26%) reported receiving investment advice online from people they didn't personally know, including via social media and/or direct messaging platforms.
But by following the crowd, or unsolicited advice, without truly understanding what it could mean for you, you might put yourself at risk of falling for an investment scam or making investments that don't make sense for you, Ignall says.
As an antidote, he suggests tuning out the noise and educating yourself with verified resources.
"I think it comes down to using solid investing resources and tools, like the TD Direct Investing Learning Centre," says Ignall. "A solid set of educational and learning tools can help you form your own opinion versus listening to the 'the crowd'."
TD Easy Trade is a service of TD Direct Investing, a division of TD Waterhouse Canada Inc., a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank.
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