Finance Simplified

Brand Strategy | Creative Campaign


The Big Idea

The Forbes brand has been a premier gateway into the inner-workings of the financial world for over a century. However, recent events have rattled the economy, leaving more people than ever before frantically looking for alternative ways to grow their income. Forbes will be able to capture this new crop of investors by being cemented as their top source for digestible financial information.



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My Role

  • Delivered a brand audit for Forbes  in order to deeper understand their past, present and future functions

  • Analyzed how COVID-19 affected the financial landscape

  • Juxtaposed old investment with emerging tech

  • Conducted a qualitative interview with a member of our target audience

  • Actively participated in activation development


Look Familiar?

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The odds are very likely that you have overheard many of these phrases over the past year. These terms weren’t just being analyzed by the usual Wall Street bros. They dominated public discourse and found their way into the minds of millions. In 2020 it felt like suddenly everyone had become a financial guru (or at least scrambled frantically to present as one)

It wasn’t always like this. Investing was a mysterious and complex process that was typically  reserved for a small group of professionals. Those who had more than enough to comfortably cover their basic needs and wanted to make some serious dough. For most Americans, making major investments seemed like a luxury that would only be afforded to us once we finished the  rat race. Who could blame us? In times of stability we  didn’t have much incentive. We had jobs that provided structure and all the time in the world to think about finances right?


Reality Check

2020 forced the entire world to kiss any and all sense of stability goodbye. The rise of the COVID-19 virus brought the planet to a stand still.

We got ushered into a new normal that negatively impacted all aspects of life, but especially the economy 

Two major outcomes in the US were:

A. The stock market reaching lows resembling the 2008 recession  
B. Record unemployment levels we haven’t seen since the great depression 


This means that:

A. Companies valuations sunk rapidly across all industries
B. People had more time away from their “stable” day jobs to evaluate their situations and try alternative ways for earning money 




And try they did! Major online brokers experienced a growth of 170% in Q1. This  includes the likes of Robinhood, Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade


To put that in perspective, Charles Schwab gained 609,000 new accounts during that period. A whopping 280,000 of them were in March alone during peak pandemic time. Access to investment resources has been made remarkably easier due to technological advancements. What were once tedious processes have now been boiled down to a few clicks. That simplicity comes along with immense power if it is coupled with the right knowledge. In 2021 the world paused as a squirrelly online Reddit community clashed with established hedge funds: and won. The tides are ever-shifting and quality financial information could quite literally lead to life changing results. 

“New investors sense a generational-buying moment but do not have much background in the equity space”

Tobias Levkovich, Citi chief U.S. equity strategist

This quote from Tobias Levkovich clearly shows this audience's desire and dilemma. Now with this fire under them and more time to self educate, we see an underserved audience that is looking for a brand in shining armor. Who could save the day?


Forbes To The Rescue

Forbes is a legacy act in the financial world and it is the perfect guide for a new crop of investors. Having been around for over a century, Forbes has always been a source for knowledge on finance and its ever-changing status. The brand carries strong name recognition amongst this target for being aspirational. We can have them connect with Forbes beyond just the glitz, glamour, and lists they may know us for. By helping them navigate towards an idealistic lifestyle, Forbes can develop a deeper and richer relationship with this audience. 


Our goal is to take our vast knowledge and present it in a manner that is approachable for this audience, in order for Forbes to be the undisputed source of financial information amongst new investors.


Finance Simplified

A creative campaign meant to reassure new investors that it is ok for them to not have all the answers (because we do).

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Calling Out the Curious

Here are examples of advertisements that could live in traditional ways such as print and out of home. They are intended to act as a signal for new investors by invoking an actionable response. If they are feeling "out of the loop" financially, they should turn to Forbes magazine for some clarity. 

Introducing: The Jargonator

A Newbie's Bestfriend

This activation takes shape as a mobile application. Users can enter a confusing phrase and Forbes will break it down for them in a way that is easy to understand. Finance can sound like a completely different language where people can quickly become lost in translation. Thanks to Forbes, grasping terminology won't be such an uphill battle.

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Here is The Jargonator performing its primary function. Upon entering the app, users can get definitions to financial phrases via the search bar. There are also a few additional tabs that serve various functions


"Not sure what to search?" offers suggestions based on popular phrases that are also being searched


"Jargon of the day" generates a new term at the beginning of each day for users to explore 


"News" covers trending stories that are arising in the financial and political space

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The "Ask Forbes" function allows users to engage with the brand directly and ask questions that may be a bit more nuanced

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The "Forbes Feed" covers highlights from the News section and spotlights user-submitted questions

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Examples of the types of notifications The Jargonator would generate

Digital Billboards

Showcasing The Jargonator in a Physical Space

We believed that digital billboards would be a great way to showcase The Jargonator's unique capabilities and garner attention. They would be placed in urban settings as an attempt to meet our young target where they reside.


Actively Gaining Awareness

Instagram is a great platform for capturing the attention of casual consumers through both regular posts and targeted advertisements.

Members of our target are likely to spend ample time on the platform. 

Examples of Instagram posts that further display The Jargonator's capabilities 

Gamifying The Jargonator 

Our custom Instagram story filter allows both current and potential Jargonator users to interact with our brand in unique way.

Forbes is communicating with them whether they are testing their newfound knowledge or realizing how completely lost they are

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Chrome Extension

Lastly, we thought that it would be a great idea to have The Jargonator live on as an extension for Google Chrome.

Once it is downloaded, users can enable The Jargonator and it will translate articles and tweets pertaining to financial information


You Made It! 


My Team:    Joey Koroma (ST)

                      Camden Dechert (AD)

                      Pratibha Nigam (CW)