Youtube VideoThe wise spokesrodent for sorted.org.nz has been helping to enhance Kiwis' money smarts for almost ten years now and the website is renowned as one of the best financial literacy programmes in the world. New Zealand's love affair with debt appears to be declining slightly, but there's still plenty of work to be done and plenty of gaps in the educational process. And, with the help of GSL Network, DoubleFish and Yukfoo, the newly refreshed and renamed Commission for Financial Literacy and Retirement Income has launched the first phase of a new campaign that hopes to get the punters planning.
According to research conducted in 2009, 34 percent of all New Zealanders had used the website and 25 percent had used in the previous year. But while CFLRI's marketing comms manager Anna Griffiths says it had long aimed to drive traffic to the site, it is now looking to up the engagement.
A lot of those visitors had financial goals, she says, but very few of them were making—and therefore sticking to—firm financial plans. So this campaign and the associated new website, which was made by Chrometoaster, is aiming to change the behaviour of a new audience by moving more into the realm of social marketing.
While she says finance can be a very complex realm, it's tried to simplify its messages, with a new, catchier Slip Slop Slap-esque slogan Think, Shrink and Grow.
"If people are thinking about those three things, they're probably on the right track," she says.
Interestingly, Ken Double, the Double in DoubleFish, was there at Saatchi & Saatchi when the mouse ("Use your mouse, get Sorted") was devised and he's been involved with many of the different campaigns over the years. At the time, it was a fairly revolutionary approach, because rather than blasting them with a message, it directed viewers to a website.
Of course, this is much more common these days, and the potency of the online realm to change behaviour is perhaps best illustrated by the success of The Journal. But bear in mind this campaign kicked off at a time when dial-up ruled and email at work was probably considered a luxury.
Griffiths says the mouse has changed quite a bit in the past ten years and new animation technology means it's certainly a much more advanced rodent these days and has many more realistic expressions (it's also slimmed down considerably). She admits the mouse had been put on the back burner a bit in the past few years, so, because he is such a well-liked and well-known character, an explicit decision was made to try and breathe a bit of life into him and she says Auckland animation house Yukfoo has done a great job of that.
Following on from last year's dumb debt campaign, which, slightly unusually for the digitally-focused organisation, featured on Adshels and bus backs, she says the mouse features more prominently in the Shrink component of the campaign, which is set to go to air in July (the Grow ad will go to air early next year).