A hipster brewmaster provides investment advice in N.B. awareness campaign

Who: The Financial and Consumer Services Commission of New Brunswick, with Duke Creative Collective for strategy and creative, production and media.

What:“The Right Recipe,” a province-wide investor education campaign underscoring the importance of good—and smart—investing habits, with a specific focus on millennial males. It talks about social media-led investment approaches like meme stocks, social media influencers and “fintok,” and why they can be unreliable.

When & Where: The campaign launched late last year, supported by five YouTube videos, as well TikTok, social content, PR and a microsite at TheRightRecipe.ca./LaBonneRecette.ca.

Why: Duke president and chief creative officer Katie Bowden said that the target audience tends to take a “high-risk, do-it-yourself approach” to building their investment portfolio. “Those are worrisome strategies,” she said. “Neither makes a good foundation for a stable financial future.”

It’s an approach that can leave susceptible investors to bad advice and scams. According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, 20 New Brunswick residents reported losing nearly $711,000 in crypto investment scams during the first nine months of 2021.

The demographic is made up of cord-cutters more likely to get their news from Twitter than consume media from traditional sources, and unlikely to seek out advice from a financial advisor or a Crown corporation. “This may explain why these investors are among the most likely to fall for investment scams,” said Bowden.

How: The creative uses a bearded hipster brewmaster talking about his various failed investments using some of the dubious get-rich-quick investment tricks he’s been exposed to over the years. After sharing how his DIY approach to investment failed, he explains how investing is similar to great craft brewing: use reliable sources of information, learn the process, choose great ingredients and know when to experiment.

“The lightbulb moment for us was that the Venn diagram for millennial males and craft beer drinkers is really just a circle,” said Bowden. “We know this demographic is disinclined to reach out to a government agency for advice, so we wanted to give them the advice but wrap it in something they’re attracted to.”

In each of the videos, the brewmaster wears a T-shirt explaining how he followed a wrong-headed approach to investing that literally left him with nothing but the shirt on his back. “I invested after listening to a rando on social & now all I have is this crappy T-shirt,” reads one. “I made some speculative investments & now all I have is this crappy T-shirt,” reads another. In each video he outlines an investment scenario, and why it ultimately failed.

And we quote: “[W]e built a campaign that stands separate from our normal channels and uses a more familiar and relatable tone and setting to build a roadmap for DIY investor protection. Canadian investors in their 20s and 30s approach their finances from a different cultural perspective than their predecessors. Research shows they are less likely to want to work with a financial advisor and want more hands-on control over their investments—but also fear that they don’t know enough about investing and are worried about losing money.” —Kevin Hoyt, chief executive officer, FCNB


Chris Powell