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Video contest shines light on the world of financial planning

Videos on social media have brought changes and positive disruption to online advertising. In the view of this, the “Classified Post InnoGen Video Competition” was organised to encourage tertiary-level students in Hong Kong to use their creativity and talents to craft captivating videos with a powerful message.

Whether their main purpose is infotainment or simply promotional, original videos are now an indispensable part of any marketing or brand-building campaign which makes use of social media platforms. Every day billions of “visual learners” around the world are logging on to their favourite social media sites to get the latest news stories and updates on specific individuals or organisations.

Newly posted videos can be relied on to attract attention, with some of them going viral and getting tens of millions of views as people share them with friends and momentum builds.    

That’s why Classified Post, together with its premium partner Sun Life, organised a special video-making competition. The aim was to engage students from local tertiary-level institutions and let them put their skills and creativity to good use in producing compelling recruitment videos for the leading financial planning services provider.

The main theme was “Be a part of a brighter future! Step forward for a financial planning career under the sun!” And 23 teams of four or five members spent nearly three months planning and putting together their entries. Along the way, the contestants fully immersed themselves in the entire process. They went from developing their initial concepts to writing scripts, casting actors, and shooting scenes. They then added background music and voiceovers before doing the final edits.

At each stage, teams were assisted by mentors assigned by Sun Life, who are among the  company’s outstanding financial advisors. They were able to offer practical guidance and advice to help the teams understand recruitment-related issues and present their ideas.

In addition, a number of tailor-made workshops taught team members the skills needed to make effective videos, so that all had a fair chance of competing for the title and wining one of the cash prizes.  

According to Winda Chan, Director of Agency Recruitment at Sun Life Hong Kong Limited collaborating with Classified Post to organise the contest was a good way of increasing the company’s brand awareness on different campuses around town.

“We wanted to gain some new insights about Generation Z,” Chan said. “We also want to help our financial advisors recruit young talent to build the business. Sun Life is full of vitality, which makes it a great workplace for the younger generation.”  

During the competition, the various mentors took the chance to explain the typical career path of a financial advisor. Team members also learned something about Sun Life’s work culture, which helped in developing the content for their videos.

“In doing this, the mentors also learned more about the students’ aspirations and their career goals,” Chan said. “They were particularly impressed by the level of creativity and adaptability.”  

Chan also noted the huge impact technology is having on the younger generation. “Artificial intelligence (AI) will take over today’s jobs in many professions. However, that won’t happen in our sector because financial advisors are proactive and constantly communicate with their clients. Videos, though, can help in conveying the unique qualities of individual financial advisors and what they offer.”

The prize presentation ceremony took place at The Wave in July. There was a palpable sense of youthful energy as the competing teams waited for the results to be announced. Elaine Ly, studio producer for the South China Morning Post, spoke about how videos can connect people and bring stories to life. Then Sun Life’s Chan and Amy Lui of Classified Post explained the key judging criteria and praised the overall quality of entries.

 The winning video from Team F drew laughter from the audience with an attention-grabbing opening and a retro feel. Its lead character was a fresh graduate receiving advice from a Sun Life financial advisor. As one of the judges, Chan felt it was very creative and professionally executed. “It told a compelling story of how Sun Life can support the younger generation in achieving their career aspirations,” she said.  

Crystal Chang, a member of the winning team, said their mentor had invited them to the Sun Life office to explain the benefits of a career in financial planning. “Attending a workshop also helped us to understand the type of work financial advisors do, so we could develop a storyline that accurately reflected the theme and resonated with the audience,” said Chang, a Year 4 student of Chinese medicine at the University of Hong Kong. The winning team received a cash prize of HK$8,000.

Tony Ip of the first runner-up team, One Last Dance, said the competition helped to improve his leadership skills. “I learned effective ways of motivating team members and acquired practical experience in organising, planning the production and shooting, and setting the timeline.” Ip is taking a bachelor of business administration degree at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. His team collected a cash prize of HK$5,000.   

Ariel Ng of the second runners-up Gogofriend noted the importance of good time management and teamwork during the contest. “We collaborated to develop the theme and storyline. This also helped us improve our communication skills,” said Ng, a marketing student at City University of Hong Kong. The second runners-up took home a HK$3,000 cash prize.

The winners of the Most Creative Award, Amigos, had to recruit new team members just 10 days before the submission deadline, but they still made it. “Because I enjoy video-making so much, I decided to persevere and complete our entry,” said Alva Ho, a Year 2 psychology student at the University of Hong Kong. “It was a rewarding experience. All the team members were really dedicated, so we were able to finish the video in such a short time.” The team won a cash prize of HK$3,000.   

All prize winners and other selected participants were invited to enrol in the Sun Life GROW Internship programme. Its unique features include assigning individual mentors to provide one-on-one guidance and advice. “The programme covers a broad range of topics from frontline selling to back-office support experience,” Chan said. “Interns who complete 40 hours of programme-related activities per month will receive a HK$3,000 allowance and other privileges.”