Not too many moons ago, it was possible to actually count the total number of retail banking videos that had been posted to YouTube. And back then, it only took a few thousand video views to be among the most successful financial institutions on YouTube. Not so anymore. These days, it takes a minimum of two million views to break into the top 10.
The Financial Brand estimates there are at least 200 videos on YouTube uploaded by banks that have broken through into seven figures. It’s impressive, especially when you realize much of the videos being uploaded are commercials shot for TV — the added YouTube exposure is just icing on the cake. The list that follows are the top 10 retail banking videos on YouTube as ranked by number of views.
Note: If your financial institution blocks you from watching videos on YouTube, it’s time you march over to the IT department and demand access. Tell them to get with it — it’s not the 90s. Heck, it’s not even whatever you call that last decade. After all, where else can bank and credit union marketers see so many of their competitors’ commercials? It’s legitimate marketing research. Really. You really need to pay attention to how other financial institutions are using YouTube, and you don’t want to be doing that at home.
Tip: Make sure when you negotiate contracts with video production companies that you obtain the online rights, particularly with commercials.
Visa “Ray Lewis Tough Interview” – 8,092,598 views
Ray Lewis is known as one of the toughest players in the NFL. But an adorable little girl in pigtails weighing no more than 40 pounds completely trips him up in a press interview. Lewis, bad boy bruiser that he is, comes off as affable, maybe even a little cuddly — definitely a major win for his brand. But like so many big corporate ads these days, you have to wonder how many people can recall Visa is the advertiser behind the spot.
Banco Sabadell “Symphony Flashmob” – 7,434,980 views
For the bank’s 130th anniversary, Sabadell orchestrated this symphonic flashmob with 100 performers from the Vallès Symphony Orchestra, the Lieder, Amics de l’Òpera and Coral Belles Arts choirs. It’s wonderful. Too bad it didn’t draw a bigger crowd.
Febelfin “Mind Reader” – 5,759,289 views
Dave is an extremely gifted clairvoyant who can channel people’s most personal financial information. This video reveals the magic behind the magic, drawing attention to the fact that one’s entire life can easily be revealed through everyday online resources, like Facebook. it’s fun to watch, and obvious why it went viral: everyone shares a common fear about what they’ve exposed online. The video was produced by Febelfin, a Belgian Financial Sector Federation representing 261 members. It tries to reconcile their interests with those of the policy makers, supervisors, trade associations and pressure groups at the national and European level. Febelfin provides tips for using online banking more safely at safeinternetbanking.be
TC Bank “Dream Rangers” – 4,178,968 views
Based on a real story, a group of old men decide to revisit their motorcycling youth after one of their own passes away. Nearly two million people watched this 3-minute epic when it came out back in 2011, and another two million since. It goes to show you that folks will watch bank videos (even Chinese ones!) if they have a compelling story to tell.
DnB NOR “Mrs. George Clooney” – 4,157,526 views
This commercial from DnB, a Norwegian bank, is hilarious. It’s like a 30-second version of “The Hangover” for women. A woman wakes up in a hotel room. She’s obviously had a rough night. She looks down at this ginormous rock on her ring finger. She’s married??? She picks up her wedding dress off the floor. Before she can think “What have I done???” none other than George Clooney steps out of the bathroom. “I like your dress,” says the handsome Hollywood hunk. “Looks better off than on.” O.M.G.
E*Trade “Lottery Baby” – 3,821,593 views
The E*Trade Baby talks to his buddy Frank about his retirement plan, which hinges on winning the lottery. It may not be the funniest E*Trade Baby spot ever, but good enough to push it into the top 10.
Visa “Olympics – Very High Dive” – 3,448,649 views
Focusing on the Olympic high diving event, Morgan Freeman narrates: “David Boudia makes over 25,000 practice dives a year; which is like diving off the tallest building in the world over 180 times. All the more reason to cheer for one perfect dive right now. Visa — supporting athletes and the Olympic games for 25 years. Join our global cheer.”
E*Trade “First Class Baby” – 3,148,212 views
In this 30-second spot, the E*Trade Baby is on a flight back from a rough weekend in Vegas with his baby pal Mike (who is a horrible dancer, we’re told). Like all the E*Trade spots, this one also does a good job presenting one of the features of E*Trade’s service.
E*Trade “Time Out Baby” – 2,936,727
Perhaps the funniest commercial from the E*Trade Baby series, back in 2010. “Apparently riding the dog like a small horse is FROWNED ON IN THIS ESTABLISHMENT!”
AmEx “Build Membership Rewards” – 2,777,888 views
Yet another repurposed TV spot that runs a mere 16 seconds. This one pushes American Express “Membership Rewards Points,” and its associated thesocialcurrency.com website.