Top 5 Finance Marketing Campaigns Aimed Toward Gen Z

Gen Z expects advertising attempts that are as creative and unique as they are. Historically, traditional marketing methods have failed with these young adults. This new generation (born between 1995 and 2012) now has an increased need to manage their own finances. Five financial campaigns have successfully caught Gen Z’s attention.

With most of Gen Z growing up in the digital age, Venmo found explosive success in meeting Gen Z where they’re at: online.

Compared to using cash or card, making mobile payments is becoming the new normal. One study shows that in 2020, mobile payments have become the 2nd favorite option for Gen Z, with 90% of Gen Z using Venmo over any other mobile payment company.

Venmo understands that Gen Z prefers brands their peers use and support.

Hence, its primary marketing strategy is word of mouth. Coupled with its recognizability and accessibility, Venmo has even become a verb. Gen Z has integrated “venmoing” into their vocabulary, further establishing Venmo’s presence.
The pandemic negatively impacts Gen Z’s financial stability; however, one company found a way to help keep purchases accessible.

Klarna acts as a payment plan that works with retailers, allowing users to purchase items on a “credit” basis. It advertises four easy payments to cover the cost up front and gives customers flexible options for their online shopping.

Klarna’s marketing campaign focuses on influencer advertising and connecting with brands Gen Z already knows and trusts.

One of its biggest advertising efforts was crowning Snoop Dogg as “King of Smoooth”. Associating the hip-hop icon with a “smoooth” shopping experience created an instant connection with Gen Z.

Although financial brands have the stereotype of boring younger audiences, Klarna finds quirky yet effective methods of relating to Gen Z.

Klarna’s partnership with popular online retailers further facilitates its brand recognition. The buy now, pay later option provides Gen Z with instant access to merchandise.

The fashion and beauty stores Gen Z frequents offer Klarna as a payment option, integrating Klarna usage and e-commerce. 

Step primarily relies on influencer marketing to reach Gen Z audiences. Popular TikTok influencer Charli D’Amelio partnered with Step, allowing Step to reach her 100 million+ followers. Actor Will Smith and pop duo The Chainsmokers are among Step’s other big-name investors, amplifying the bank’s impact on this generation.

In contrast to other mobile banking services, Step focuses on targeting Gen Zers ages 13 to 18. This younger Gen Z subset are teenagers in need of beginner financial services. Step advertises the following services for these teens:
  • Physical Bank Card
  • Checking and savings accounts
  • Educational programs
This financial freedom and encouragement from popular influencers has had a positive impact on Gen Z. Step has been gaining up to 10,000 new users every day, reaching larger audiences as it continues to partner with more influencers.
Chase and Greenlight
JP Morgan Chase and Greenlight found a different way to appeal to the youngest Gen Zers. Parents of these Gen Zers are not only potential Greenlight clients, but are current Chase customers. Advertising to these parents allows Chase and Greenlight to build brand loyalty with Gen Zers as young as six years old.

While the accounts are controlled and monitored by parents, Greenlight creates a client base with Chase. When these Gen Zers grow and start opening accounts of their own, they’ll have a strong relationship with these brands.

Greenlight offers a physical card that kids and teens can access, but is mostly controlled by their parents. Money from allowance and chore completion fund the card and mitigate children’s spending. Greenlight’s app features a recently released investment platform to encourage kids to learn about stocks and make their own money.
H&R Block Budget Challenge
H&R Block reaches Gen Z kids and teens through the classroom with an educational game—Budget Challenge. Advertised to teachers and schools, the Budget Challenge is a game designed to equip students with financial literacy, along with a chance to win a $20,000 scholarship.

The Budget Challenge is a 10-week simulation designed to teach students about many parts of money management including:
  • Checking accounts
  • Bills
  • Loans
  • Credit
The challenge reaches students across the country, promoting H&R Block as a brand that sets Gen Z up for success in the future.

While each of these campaigns has its own method of marketing to Gen Z, they all embody one value : trust. Building rapport with Gen Z means establishing relationships in Gen Z’s social network. This network acts as a gatekeeper to accessing Gen Z’s interest and patronage.
Archera helps bank and finance executives make smarter marketing decisions by identifying marketing gaps, creating custom strategies to fill in those gaps, and making the most of their resources. By guiding companies to change their approach to marketing decisions, Archera implements a design-thinking, data-driven strategy based on current psychology research and technology behaviors.
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