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Creative Spark: The Making of Robinhood’s Gold Campaign

Creative Spark: The Making of Robinhood’s Gold Campaign

Robinhood was founded on a simple idea: that our financial markets should be accessible to all. With customers at the heart of our decisions, Robinhood is lowering barriers and providing greater access to financial information and investing. Together, we are building products and services that help create a financial system everyone can participate in.

Introducing the creative campaign for Robinhood Gold! Hear from Abigail Spooner, a Senior Designer at Robinhood, about the campaign’s strategy to amplify Gold’s cash sweep offering, increase product awareness, and drive sign-ups—all while seamlessly integrated with the core Robinhood brand identity. Collaborating with partner agency AKQA, Abigail and team developed a compelling concept to communicate the expanding value of Gold. The campaign launched in November 2023 and aired across 40 major U.S. cities for an entire month. Join us as we explore the behind-the-scenes of this campaign. 

Disclosure: Robinhood Gold is offered through Robinhood Financial LLC and is a subscription offering premium services available for a fee.

Hi, I’m Abigail! 👋 I’m a Sr. Designer on the creative team at Robinhood, where I’ve been working since August 2021. I started out as a designer on our social media team, and am now focused on developing brand creative across a few efforts, including Robinhood Crypto and Robinhood Gold. As a lead creative designer on Gold, I’ve had the pleasure of developing creative that celebrates everything that Gold delivers for our customers. In this blog, I’ll dive into one of our most recent marketing campaigns to share what it looks like under the hood when our team works on designing, producing, and shipping a large campaign from start to finish.

The goal

The Robinhood Gold team launched a multichannel test campaign in November of 2023. The main goals of this campaign were to amplify Gold’s cash sweep offering to the world, spread product awareness and drive sign-ups. Crucially, the campaign needed to do this in such a way that it would stand out to customers across a diverse channel mix AND feel natural alongside Robinhood’s core brand materials. 

The campaign was a huge undertaking, to say the least. We collaborated with our partner agency AKQA to respond to the brief and execute across all channels. We owned the design and production of all Robinhood-owned channel assets on our in-house creative team, and that’s what I’m excited to talk about here!

The process

We began by establishing the grounding creative concept: “Make your money do the MOST with Robinhood Gold.” (A few key data points for the nerds reading this: Gold customers earn a high APY on their uninvested cash (4.9% APY at the time of the initial launch), with no cap on earnings, and are protected with FDIC insurance up to $2.25M at partner banks.)

Through all of the campaign work, we ultimately wanted to make sure that we were exploring and reinforcing the key idea of expansion and scale. As we dove into the process, we kept asking ourselves: how do we make the hero number (4.9% APY) feel HUGE? [Insert footage of our team wildly moodboarding here.]

In the hero TV spot, the key messaging was accompanied by an energetic mix of expanding balloon visuals and live-action, utilizing extreme fisheye imagery and larger-than-life camera angles. For our owned channels, where we rarely if ever use photography and live-action in brand creative, we faced a tricky design problem: how do we get this concept to work alongside our master Robinhood brand, while still feeling clearly connected to and in service of the larger campaign?

:30s CTV spot (4.9% APY version)
Campaign direction moodboard

At the start of the project, we explored a few ways in. We jumped into more typographic and editorial-style poster sketches to start, playing with the concept of visual maximalism to bolster that key idea of the MOST! While we came up with some fun sketches for this idea, we found that a lot of the treatments felt too busy and overwhelming.

Typographic iterations—these were the more “wild” ideas we played around with before pulling back and simplifying the visuals

From there, we tried to develop more of a simplified system for the type and expanding visuals to live within, letting the balloon elements take on more of a leading role. Here we found that we could create much-needed tension by letting the expanded elements press up against each other or even be constrained by their surroundings in some way. We also started adding a few additional inflated pieces to the compositions, including the Robinhood Gold ‘g’ logo and some fun stars, to add more dynamics and movement to the imagery.

We were starting to like where some of the compositions were heading, but we were really struggling with the 3D design of the numbers themselves. We wanted the numbers to feel almost over-inflated, but they still needed to read well even at their most expanded state. We went through countless iterations on the design, structure, and inflation level of the numbers and other elements. On top of that, we also tried out a wide range of textures and finishes on the visuals. We found that a super-shiny metallic finish on the elements looked very luxe, but the high contrast in the highlights and shadows made legibility difficult. We landed on a softer mid-tone gold texture with subtle purples and pinks in the highlights. The overall look of the final elements feels larger than life, but at the same time very readable!

It was super important that the numbers in the hero creative were legible at all stages of expansion
A snapshot of (some) of the iterations we created while deciding on the texture, color, and structure of the inflated elements

In the animation stage we found ourselves iterating even further. In the homepage takeover, we wanted the elements to quickly inflate and then “settle” with a very subtle floating motion. It was a lot of trial and error with the dynamics system to get the physics right and design we wanted (wrinkles, floatiness etc). With this type of 3D work, we were relying on Cinema 4D’s physics engine to get us where we needed to go, and a lot of time was spent dialing different parameters up or down over and over until it just started to look right.

A look inside the Cinema 4D workspace where the renders and animations were completed
Final homepage takeover animation, in-situ

After finalizing the suite of 4.9% assets, we got some exciting news—and raised our rate (again) to 5% 🤯This meant we needed to redesign and update all of our assets to work with the new 5% APY rate, and work collaboratively to make the adjustments across all of the surfaces.

Adjusting the assets to the new 5% APY rate
A snapshot of some of the final performance marketing + social assets
The results

The whole team worked incredibly hard to get this campaign out the door on a tight timeline, without compromising on the many tiny details that went into every piece of creative. The ad campaign launched without a hitch, with the CTV ad broadcasting across 40 U.S. cities over the course of about a month.

Looking back on this project, I’m really proud of the finished result, and I’m even more proud of the flexibility the team had when responding to unexpected deliverable changes. There are some process pieces we’ll likely want to do differently next time. For example, when working with rendered 3D elements in the future, we should plan to resolve the 3D visual direction, texture and color etc. across all partners and stakeholders earlier in the process. We found ourselves trying to marry the 3D inflation textures used across the tv spot (which was produced by our agency partner) and the internal assets pretty late in the process because our working teams were working independently of one another. I think we’ll make a point to develop the direction for assets like these more collaboratively in future projects, to ensure less back and forth.

Many thanks to everyone who dedicated their time and effort to bringing this campaign to life. In particular, thank you to Alma Kim, Shawn Anderson, and Harrison Pollock for collaborating so seamlessly on this project and contributing to this blog post! Also thanks to Tim Scales, Devon Lach, Phil Eichenauer, Caleb MacIlvaine, Carley Olivas, Laurent Linville, Anna Lee, Dan Wright, Nicole Yesbeck, Andy Montgomery, and many more.

Disclosures: Robinhood Gold is offered through Robinhood Financial LLC and is  a subscription offering premium services available for a fee. 

The Brokerage Cash Sweep Program is an added feature to your Robinhood Financial LLC brokerage account. Interest is earned on uninvested cash swept from your brokerage account to program banks. Program banks pay interest on your swept cash, minus any fees paid to Robinhood. As of November 15, 2023, the Annual Percentage Yield (APY) that you will receive is 1.5%, or 5% for Robinhood Gold members. Terms apply. The APY might change at any time at the program banks’ discretion. Additionally, any fees Robinhood receives may vary and is subject to change. Neither Robinhood Financial LLC nor any of its affiliates are banks.

All investments involve risk and loss of principal is possible.

Robinhood Financial LLC (member SIPC), is a registered broker dealer. Robinhood Securities, LLC (member SIPC), is a registered broker dealer and provides brokerage clearing services. 

Cryptocurrency services are offered through an account with Robinhood Crypto, LLC.

All are subsidiaries of Robinhood Markets, Inc. (‘Robinhood’).

We are always looking for more individuals who share our commitment to building a diverse team and creating an inclusive environment as we continue in our journey in democratizing finance for all. Stay connected with us — join our talent community and check out our open roles!

© 2024 Robinhood Markets, Inc. 


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