CASSIES Bronze: The Fonds de solidarité makes RRSPs relatable

The brand unveiled a creative platform that reminded young people in a light and funny tone that 30% more in tax savings is a 100% no-brainer.

img5Sustained Success

Situation Analysis: The Fonds de solidarité FTQ is a union-based development capital investment fund, allocating the savings (RRSPs) of participating Quebecers towards creating and maintaining jobs. The Fonds’ mission is supported by both levels of government for a total of 30% in additional tax savings over and above regular RRSPs. But in 2012, the Fonds faced two challenges: RRSP owners were getting older, meaning the Fonds needed to reach a younger demographic in order to grow, plus most people under 40 had very low awareness of the Fonds and the benefits it provided.

Insight & Strategy: Most RRSP advertising sold the benefits one will reap once retired. However, this message did not resonate with most young Quebecers who believed that RRSPs were not attractive or necessary for them. Research identified that the language of RRSPs was a huge barrier for young would-be investors, sending cues this was something people should worry about at 45 or 50, not at 30. The second learning was that the Fonds 30% tax savings advantage was not understood by the target. The strategy therefore became to illustrate the difference between a regular RRSP and one from the Fonds de solidarité FTQ using simple comparative elements communicated in three phases.

Execution: Running through the 2012-2014 RRSP seasons, Phase one informed the target about the Fonds during November and December, the period leading up to sales. This was followed by a Phase two push on selling RRSPs during January and February which then switched into Phase three, convincing young adults to register for the Fonds payroll savings program during March and April.

The creative platform reminded young people in a light, funny and innovative tone that 30% more in tax savings is a 100% no-brainer. Television and radio told the full story while print, OOH and online elements extended the creative platform by demonstrating the 30% advantage with day-to-day objects shown the usual way versus the Fonds’ way. Extended buses were wrapped throughout the city of Montreal to play on the fact that they were 30% longer, pushing to a microsite, B2B creative was also developed in order to speak to employers about the importance of offering a payroll savings program to their employees. The media strategy was to start the campaign off slowly, then build a greater sense of urgency as the deadline for contributions approached.

Results: Over the three years of the campaign, there was a 20% increase in the number of Fonds RRSPs issued compared to the three previous years, a 36% increase in the number of new RRSP participants, a 58% increase in the number of new RRSP participants under 40 and the average age of new participants went from 46 years old in 2009 to 41 years old in 2014. The Fonds increased market share by three points, moving into second place in the Quebec RRSP market for the first time in its history.

Cause & Effect: No changes were made to the Fonds’ basic offer which had remained unchanged since the fund was inaugurated over 30 years ago. Annual media spend and production budget were similar throughout the 2009-2014 period, while there was no unusual price discounting during the campaign.

Client: Fonds de Solidarité FTQ
EVP: Denis Leclerc
Executive director of marketing: Patrick Schumann
Director of marketing: Annie St-Arnaud
Communications advisor: Gabrielle Thom-Gadbois
Insight & research analyst: Nizar Zagdhani
Digital director: Roxane Prince
Digital analyst: Sébastien Gagnon
Agency: Marketel
CD: Alain Bourgeois
AD: Renaud Seguin
French CW: Marc-André Vigneault
English CWs: Jonathan Rosman, Jessie Sternthal
Digital CDs: Marie-Pierre Blanchette
Digital AD: Luis Asencios
Insight & research digital analyst: Vicki Marcoux
Account director: Audrée Couture
Account executive: Marc-André Dionne
Media director: Julie Bernier
Media planner: Lina Moussaoui