Personalized Pension Video Campaign Shows Savers Their ‘Future Self’

What would make people save more for retirement? To put money away for the future, savers need to give up something today.

And that’s a big ask. As humans, we’re naturally biased to value what we see and feel now over what might happen tomorrow, especially a tomorrow that’s decades away. You’ve probably experienced this yourself if you’ve ever procrastinated on … anything important.

Saving for retirement is certainly important, but plenty of us aren’t doing it. Over a quarter of U.K. adults have less than £100 saved, and it’s worse across the pond where 26% of Americans have nothing saved pre-retirement.

So back to our question: what will make people save more?

BBVA, a leading Spanish financial services provider, wanted to know the same thing, so they decided to show their digital clients a future where they did save and the difference it made. Here’s how the campaign worked.

A Personal Message From the Future

As mentioned above, people have an innate bias to care more about the present than the future. It’s, appropriately, called “present bias,” and it’s inescapable.

Scientific research has shown that people have a stronger activation in the reward center of their brain when they’re asked about decisions that lead to an immediate reward. A payoff that comes tomorrow or 20 years from now? Not so much.

BBVA wanted to make a distant future more real to savers today, so they showed them a personalized window into their retirement if they saved. Using our enterprise-grade, secure platform, they combined individual data with video creative to send viewers a message from their future self.

Here’s a side-by-side example of the videos.

As you can see, the viewer’s “future self” thanks them for saving as much as possible toward retirement, allowing them a life of comfort and financial security.

The videos included personalized data points such as a person’s name, age and the amount of money they’re currently saving per month. It also outlined the viewer’s individual pension plan, including the maximum amount of money they could contribute in a given year. Videos showed an actor speaking the message to the viewer with live-action footage to immerse the viewer in the world of that given future.

By using visuals to trigger emotions, the campaign drew on the science of behavioral psychology to overcome present bias and increase savings.

In essence, it made tomorrow feel as emotionally relevant as today.

Changing Behavior in Pension Savings

BBVA’s goal with this campaign was to help explain pension funds and encourage investment, and it did exactly that.

Francisco Gonzalez, Managing Director of BBVA, said they saw digital clients investing more than traditional customers thanks to this innovative approach combining personalization and video. As part of an integrated marketing campaign, the videos helped drive a 78% increase in long-term savings and had high engagement among viewers.

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How top pension providers use video to motivate savings

Behavioral economist Prof. Shlomo Benartzi of UCLA, cites research by Prof. Hal Hershfield and others documenting that a visual connection with our aged self can dramatically boost our willingness to save for the future. As Benartzi explains, “the cutting-edge Idomoo Personalized Video technology, combined with innovation initiatives by industry leaders like BBVA, offers truly unique opportunities to engage with our future-self and boost savings even further.”

A Better Language for Financial Services

What we found is that presenting information in a way that’s clear and also relevant on an emotional level — not just an analytical argument about how it’s better to save money — can actually give people the impetus needed to change their decisions.

Financial services, from mortgages to fintech, can be especially opaque for the average customer. Video brings transparency by simplifying the conversation, and adding data to the video makes sure the message is relevant and actionable.

Based on the success of BBVA’s pension fund campaign, we developed a video template for insurance companies that lets them easily build their own Personalized Video campaign, cutting down on production costs and reducing time to market.

Idomoo Personalized Video has also been adopted by a number of pension providers, including Aegon, Aviva, Mercer and many more.

Learn more: Read the news story to learn how another pension statement video made viewers 4x more likely to increase their contributions.

At Idomoo, we help brands deliver on the promise of customer personalization, moving each customer to action by addressing them individually with what really matters. In a world of endless streams of content, Personalized Video doesn’t just stand out. It makes a real connection with the viewer, and that, as BBVA saw with their incredible campaign, can make all the difference.

To learn more about how Personalized and Interactive Video can fuel your customer loyalty, sales and service efforts, get in touch. We’d love to talk about how data-driven video is changing the way brands communicate with customers — for the better.

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