Product placement and advertising on tv shows is not a novel concept by any means. However when I first started watching CNBC’s new tv show “Money In Motion” about foreign currency markets after it premiered in February 2011, I couldn’t help but notice that the entire tv show was a mouthpiece for its main sponsor, Forex.com. “Money In Motion” is the first tv program dedicated solely to the $4 billion world currency market, a fact mentioned during every episode.
Forex.com, as you can guess, is a website that allows investors to trade foreign currencies and conduct research. Money In Motion’s currency experts, or personalities, follow a similar script for a part of every episode, in which they focus on explaining the basics of currency trading (in order to lure the novice investor), and alluding to Forex.com’s services at several key times during broadcast (aside from the commercial breaks, which are dominated by Forex.com ads). Additionally, the show’s personalities always mention about Forex.com’s 50:1 leverage offering (allowing borrowers to borrow as much as 50x of their account in cash, theoretically allowing them to make lots of money with little money invested up front), and that new users can sign up a practice account as a start.
I estimate the annual budget used for the exclusive sponsorship of the tv show, which runs once per week and has been running for almost a year to this point, to be at least 15 million dollars. I believe they judged the campaign’s success by comparing the number of customers signed up and the volume of trades or value of trades prior to the show’s airing. Unfortunately I have not found any data tying the show’s success to Forex.com’s success, however in studying the financial results of Gain capital (Forex.com’s owner, stock symbol: GCAP), revenues were up 13 million (34%) from December 2010 (pre-campaign) to September 2011 (post/during campaign).
I will admit, the benefits talked about on the show persuaded me to sign up a practice account at forex.com, and eventually a live account using real money. I stayed with the company for about 6 months until I found other companies that offered more competitive terms (such as lower spreads) and signup bonuses.