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Why are financial advisers in cartoons often ginger?

January 2, 2018

Ok having written that headline I now can’t find ANY cartoons where they are, but it’s definitely something I’ve noticed in the past and I’m wondering what the reason for it is.

Before I go on, I’d like to make it clear that I’m referring to stereotypes here, so I don’t mean to offend anyone when I explain that I think for these videos, what’s been chosen is an ‘everyman’ who blends in.

That’s because when it comes to the first, ‘entry level’ communication — which could be an explainer video on your website — it has to make some pretty basic points in a short space of time.

At this stage, you want to communicate a feeling of trust and dependability without confusing it with anything else. There’s no time for personal nuance or subtlty, you have to rely on visual symbols that are going to quickly throw out some basic messages.

Blondes are glamorous, bubbly and fun; while brunettes are tall, dark and handsome. Fun and mystery aren’t going to create the right message here — you want steadiness, expertise and approachability — so perhaps that’s why a ginger gets the job.

But may be it’s also to do with warmth. In these cartoons the adviser is always smiling, and despite the seriousness of the business at hand — or perhaps because of it — clients want compassion as well as capability. And everyone knows that red heads are associated with fire and passion.

So that’s my theory. Speaking to a financial adviser or planner can be an intimidating concept and subconsciously, a smily, red headed adviser is the opposite of the pushy sales person in the shiny suit.

Small thoughts for a small observation!

January 2, 2018

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