I was about ready to let the whole Robinhood/Gamestop wildness go… and then I saw the commercial. You’ve probably seen it by now – the Robinhood Super Bowl spot featuring an upbeat voiceover narrating scenes of puppies, babies, and emotional zoom calls (yes, really). The TLDR is that “We are all investors.” Maybe it was shot a while back and the marketing team just said “YOLO, let’s run it anyways”. But more likely it was intentional, and I love it.

I love it for 2 reasons. The first is that it confirms how little Robinhood’s leadership understands trust. Contrary to what the commercial assumes, trust can’t be purchased or coerced. It won’t come as the product of a massive ad campaign or a few “clarification” emails. The trust that the public holds for Robinhood has more to do with their “series of unfortunate events” (where they locked out users) and much less to do with the warm fuzzies of a Super Bowl ad. 

Trust is first given, then over time, we earn the right to keep it. Robinhood was given the trust of millions, only to serve up an experience that didn’t match their mission. They have taken what could likely be a fatal blow to their brand, and they’ve chosen to use their newfound money to buy face time with America. Instead of laying low and rebuilding confidence with their actions, they’re using ad spend to convince everyone they’re on our side. 

To be clear – Robinhood failing doesn’t make me happy. They’ve made incredible strides in bringing access to investing to everyone, and I hate to see them stray from their stated mission. What’s exciting to see is that while investors look for opportunities they trust, Robinhood’s whiff opens the door for answers closer to home. 

The swing and miss isn’t complete though, the 2nd thing I love about the ad is that they absolutely nail the tagline. “We’re all investors” isn’t just a catchy one-liner or a feel-good jingle – it’s a statement of fact. It smashes the myth that you have to reach some special status to decide where you invest your hard-earned dollars.

It’s an excellent call out on why it’s important to see ourselves as investors. Recognizing that we’re investors is ultimately about seeing a more complete picture of ourselves. A picture that owns our skills, knowledge, personality, and intuition. A view of our decision-making that makes us wonder why we ever abandoned the future of our finances.  

Imagine swapping out the word “Investors” for other titles: “We are all students” or “We are all singers” or “We are all workers.” 

While we may not all learn at the same pace, sing with the same musicality, or earn the same wages, we don’t own these characteristics any less. We have the right (in some cases, even the responsibility) to act on our abilities. Our skill level may vary and the effort required might not match our neighbors, but the opportunity and access are open to everyone.

Robinhood might be way off on their pursuit of trust but they’re dead on with their message to the audience. Thankfully, the truth of their message reaches much further than their platform and extends a warm welcome for all to be what we’ve always been: Investors.