For Singaporeans in their 20s and early 30s, financial planning is probably one of the last things on their minds. Rather than be bogged down with adult responsibilities, they would much rather enjoy their newfound freedom and indulge in what makes them happy.
Having entered adulthood with their whole lives ahead of them, it comes as no surprise that most young Singaporeans choose to embrace a YOLO lifestyle and celebrate living in the moment. This can be most obviously observed in their poor saving habits. A staggering 4 out of 5 Singaporean millennials have no savings at all, with most showing apathy towards Singapore's retirement savings scheme, known as the Central Provident Fund (CPF). With little to no personal savings and little interest in financial prudence, this paints a worrying picture of millennials' financial futures.
For the growing number of Singaporeans dreaming of an early retirement, many of them fail to realise that their youth is the most valuable asset in financial planning.
The Central Provident Fund Board (CPFB) thus wanted to engage millennials and motivate them to start thinking for the future, shifting their attitude towards financial planning from one of indifference to one of active interest. In order to achieve this, we furnished young Singaporeans with relevant and actionable financial tips to encourage financial prudence and inculcate good saving habits.
How could we appeal to millennials to start thinking for their futures, when they were so caught up with living in the moment? We had to inspire them to face the challenges of adulthood, with simple financial planning tips that make "Adulting" achievable.
In recent years, more millennials have taken to social media to vent about the struggles of taking on adult responsibilities, which they call "Adulting". Generally, millennials find "Adulting" discouraging, choosing to avoid it whenever possible. Aptly named #ICanAdult, our campaign sought to change this perception and give millennials the confidence to say they could "Adult" too, by offering "Adulting"-specific tips for managing their finances.
Given the vast amount of content millennials consume online, we had to convey the financial planning tips in a fun and engaging manner to capture their attention. We chose to feature toys from these millennials' childhoods — around the period of the 80s and 90s. The toys were placed in grown-up situations, just as how millennials are thrown into the deep end to deal with adult responsibilities. These toys portrayed the uplifting transition from childhood innocence towards the tough demands of adulthood, encouraging millennials to confidently do the same. All this served to showcase "Adulting" in a positive light, and build rapport with our target audience.
The campaign kicked off with four campaign hero videos to generate buzz surrounding the campaign. These videos featured the aforementioned toys committing financial blunders like overconsumption, overcommitting to buying a house, and failing to save for the future. In each situation, the toy characters had to face the consequences of their financial choices. In the same way, we hoped to impress upon millennials that the financial choices they make today would impact their future well-being. These humorous and engaging videos were a key feature of the #ICanAdult campaign, hooking millennials for the financial tips that were to follow.
Banners on digital platforms supplemented the hero videos to drive visitors to our Instagram page, which was chosen as the lead social media platform given its popularity among millennials. To expand our reach beyond our current followings, we worked with popular content partners, as well as other niche finance and lifestyle sites. These content partners featured "Adulting" topics in a variety of content formats (e.g. memes, listicles and quizzes), offering an interesting mix of content surrounding the campaign. 16 influencers were engaged to share their own "Adulting" challenges on Instagram with the campaign hashtag #ICanAdult, shaping positive online conversations around the campaign while encouraging other millennials to share their "Adulting" challenges too.To maintain engagement, we developed content tailored to each social media platform. A mix of short videos, static and carousel content were developed for Instagram, and all pieces adopted a clean aesthetic so they could be easily understood at a glance. Other CPF-heavy and information-rich content were published on Facebook, since the target audience was observed to be more information seeking. In addition, more detailed CPF information was published weekly as longform content, with one themed article each week.
There was an overwhelmingly positive response to the #ICanAdult campaign — a great success given the typically neutral or negative response to CPFB, and an even bigger accomplishment given majority of millennials' ignorance towards financial issues previously.
This was largely due to the campaign's resonance with millennials, with content hitting a 24% engagement rate — 8 times more than the industry benchmark of 3% average for Instagram accounts with 1,000 to 10,000 fans. Users appreciated CPFB's effort to reach out in an engaging manner, with tastefully done content pieces that were easy to digest, and in an aesthetic they enjoyed. Fans tagged and shared content with their friends, indicating they related to the content and thought their friends would too. The accompanying hashtag #ICanAdult also helped create a sense of community among those who were working towards taking charge of their futures, by starting to plan their finances.
CPFB saw a 191% increase in Instagram followers, and acquired 849 new Facebook fans. This indicated greater interest in saving and financial literacy than before the #ICanAdult campaign, as millennials were actively following CPFB's social media pages for more information and tips to prepare for their futures.
Apart from the success of our own social media content, the #ICanAdult campaign inspired greater conversation on "Adulting" in Singapore. The increased usage of the terms "Adulting" and "Adult" as an action in articles by finance and lifestyle content publishers showed the great influence of the campaign.