The BC Securities Commission (BCSC) has a simple mandate: help British Columbians feel more confident about investing in the capital markets. The BCSC offers free, unbiased financial education and training, in an effort to help people become better educated about a topic that has been traditionally seen as complex, esoteric and abstract. Yet a lot of people remain completely unaware of what the BCSC does, why the BCSC does it, or how the BCSC can help them prepare for a better financial future.
The BCSC’s research demonstrated the deep-seated, profound emotions that investing and finances bring out in people. Our target audience felt anxious and overwhelmed about what they don’t know and stressed about the complexity of the information. And, as a result, they’d do anything they could to avoid the topic. For the BCSC, this was a significant roadblock that prevented the organization from accomplishing its mandate. It became obvious to us that the BCSC’s efforts to educate and inform the public would be wasted if they didn’t acknowledge and diffuse the emotions that surrounded the subject of investing.
We knew we needed to address the elephant in the room: the emotions that lay behind people’s procrastination, reluctance and avoidance of the topic of investing. We also knew that being sombre or serious would cause them to do the exact opposite. So we created a lighthearted campaign that acknowledged the lengths to which people would go to avoid an investment discussion. By making the issue less serious and more relatable, we created a safe emotional space for people to recognize the reaction in themselves. That was the first, critical step in getting people to acknowledge that is was time to stop avoiding the topic and see what the BCSC had to offer.
With a need to reach all British Columbians of investing age, we chose high impact tv, online video, radio and audio elements to play a big role in our campaign. Digital banners, social posts, native ads and search connected with our audience in very targeted channels, while providing an additional opportunity for us to communicate in a lighthearted way that was completely aligned with the tone of specific channels. With all executions driving to the BCSC’s education website InvestRight.org, we reformulated the content strategy and boosted it with videos, interactive tools and content that gave would-be investors a roadmap for getting started with investing, assessing their risk tolerance and protecting themselves from investment fraud.
Initial feedback from our January campaign launch has been strong, with exceptionally positive response from our target audience (women under 55). Campaign recall is up 31% from the BCSC’s previous campaign and a number of significant campaign diagnostics have demonstrated how the campaign resonated with our target on a deep emotional level. Visits to the BCSC website increased 23% over pre-campaign levels, and fully 58% of post-campaign survey respondents noted they were more likely to notice and pay attention to information from the BCSC in the future because of the campaign.