Sanlam Conspicuous Savers Case Study

South African insurer and financial services group, Sanlam, recently challenged celebrities Pearl Thusi and Cassper Nyovest to twist their VIP lifestyles as part of a Sanlam National Savings Month experiment. The celebrities traded evident spending for noticeable saving to encourage South Africans to live within their means. The duo were seen mending their own clothes, getting a roadside haircut, Airbnb-ing their house and opting for UberX over more expensive chauffeur services – a far cry from their usual ‘celebrity lifestyles’.


Sanlam explains further: “how we see others spending can affect how we save. Consumers are bombarded with images of conspicuous spending daily. The truth is, few of us can afford the glamorous lifestyles full of stylish swag we see projected in every newspaper, magazine, social feed and movie. But we still try. If we live beyond our means, we’ll never have enough money to really afford the lifestyle we aspire to. As Wealthsmiths™ we believe that it’s important to make saving a priority so you can turn your income into sustainable wealth. After all, it’s not what you have, it’s what you do with it that counts.”

The campaign won Gold in the Financial Services category at the PRISM Awards, which was held on 6 May, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Atmosphere Communications and the King James Group were the agencies that created the multi channel campaign. This video explains how the campaign was run and the results it delivered.

Says Cora Fernandez, chief executive of Sanlam Investments’ institutional business, “Consumers are bombarded with two conflicting images – on the one hand, there is hardship, poverty and economic uncertainty, social unrest and, on the other hand, the glamorous lifestyles of the star-studded rich and famous. How do we respond? In the former, we join the disconnected voices and in the latter, we hit the malls to get the online ‘must-haves’ and what we think we need. We increase our debt-fuelled spending habits because we aspire to celebrity lifestyles. This in turn encourages a cycle of indebtedness, fed by an ever-increasing need for instant gratification and social status. Unfortunately, the bad spending becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy of rolling-over debt, with no limits in sight. We need to show that there is a big difference between earning a high salary and being wealthy – it’s not how much you earn but what you do with it that counts.”

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