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Innovative social media campaign arrives from the future

A bank statement from the year 2050 arrived at the office the other day. I was happy to see I received R300 000 back from a “Green Goals Tax Back Incentive” but apparently the One Hour Full left-brain wipe I had cost me R89 000. This obscure, intriguing artifact was created by Atmosphere Communications as part of an innovative social media campaign for Sanlam called Save Your Future.

In a bid to give young adults a ‘reality check’ and motivate them to make the best possible financial decisions while they still can, Sanlam teamed up with popular TV personality Jeannie D and musician Loyiso to launch the virtual campaign.

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The campaign follows the celebrities’ future selves – one who made the right financial decisions and one who did not – on Facebook in 2050 as they go about their daily business in a new, even more expensive world that is depleted of resources, medically and technologically advanced and energy-efficient.

According to Jenna Wilson, Account Manager at Atmosphere, “the campaign is a bid to highlight the looming financial crisis that awaits young adults who aren’t saving enough to sustain them in their futures, particularly when it comes to retirement.”

The campaign brings this reality to life by showing Jeannie D and Loyiso going about their lives on Facebook, posting comments, photos from their day-to-day activities that are based on credible trend forecasts for the next 40 years. These include plugging into the local hydrogen grid to refuel their home’s power; connecting with family and friends via their 4D networked contact lenses or visiting a doctor to have a new lung, grown through stem-cell research technology, fitted.

A strong narrative strand keeps the campaign alive and tells the stories of these ageing celebs as they deal with their circumstances.

Their Facebook status updates and tweets reflect their divergent realities: “Update From Loyiso: 9:10am 15 September 2050: Still snowing! No way I’m going out there. Give a guy a break. House is freezing! Still no hydrogen. Unbelievable!”. Jeannie’s status reflects her more affluent circumstances: “8:02am 14 September 2050: So happy we went for the back-up hydrogen tanks when we bought the new house. The lines are down today and half the neighbourhood can’t power their houses or fill their cars.”

The campaign works because it is consistent, creative and unusual. It’s a subtle reminder to people to keep saving and planning for the future that doesn’t employ scare tactics or a preachy tone to get its point across.

Wilson believes that the campaign “showcases how social media can be used creatively to engage with young adults and paint of picture of the potential future we are all facing – positive or negative.”

Follow Jeannie’s journey at twitter.com/FutureJeannieD and Loyiso’s at twitter.com/FutureLoyiso.

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