SINGAPORE: Encouraging young Singaporeans to invest in their financial health for the distant future can be a real challenge, but marketers are not afraid to think outside of the box.

According to a Nielsen survey commissioned by NTUC Income, 64% of young Singaporean adults aged between 25 and 35 view retirement investment as a way to save for future needs.

But both short- and mid-term financial commitments – as well as a lack of knowledge about how to do it – means retirement planning takes a backseat for many.

And like most young people in Asia's developed markets, young Singaporeans are addicted to their smartphones and not really interested in traditional advertising – something which presents a real challenge to marketers.

(For more on campaigns to encourage young Singaporeans to save, read WARC’s report: How Singapore got millennials thinking about retiring and healthy eating.)

“If they encounter a digital video online, the first thing they do is to look for the ‘x’ button. They want to close it as soon as they can,” said Chi Wei Teo, Kantar Millward Brown Group Account Director, at the Millennial 20/20 conference in Singapore.

“Or if they are watching something on YouTube, and a pre-roll appears, they simply put their mouse on the skip button, wait for five seconds, immediately click and the video is closed,” she added.

With the aim of getting young consumers to embark on financial planning earlier in life, NTUC Income’s Start Retiring campaign early last year generated an extensive amount of earned media.

That was thanks to a publicity stunt involving Singaporean actress and local influencer Rebecca Lim, who pretended on Instagram to be retiring from acting.

While the stunt was controversial, it made an impact – traffic to view savings and retirement plans on NTUC Income’s website grew by 300%, while customer enquiries about retirement planning increased 30% within a week of the launch.

“No one likes to think of their retirement. It reminds them of dying and at best of getting old. But how brilliant is it to think, ‘I’ve dealt with retirement. I don’t have to worry about it anymore. I can go on living my life and enjoy myself?’,” said Richard Heath, Kantar Millward Brown Executive Director.

“No one has ever done that before, especially not in Singapore, and that’s what this campaign is about.”

Sourced from WARC