Saving is hard. As millennials we’re told from the moment we start working that we need to save for our futures. A recent survey from the Ad Council and American Institute for Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) revealed that one in three millennials ranked saving as their number one goal for the year. And the number one barrier to saving? Impulse spending.
Feed the Pig is a joint effort between the Ad Council and AICPA to help young adults adopt positive saving habits at a time they are making major decisions – starting a career, buying a house, getting married, starting a family – all of which will greatly impact their finances. The campaign website FeedthePig.org includes tips, resources and simple tools to help them save for their goals, whatever they may be.
To celebrate the campaign’s 10th anniversary, Feed the Pig has collaborated on new content with a number of partners including Games for Change, IFTTT and Upworthy, and with the help of content marketing company Truffle Pig has brought Benjamin Bankes (the campaign’s mascot) to Snapchat and Instagram. We sat down with Truffle Pig’s President Paul Marcum to get his thoughts on the Feed The Pig social strategy and all things Snapchat.
Ad Council: Beyond the amazing brand alignment (Feed the Pig/Truffle Pig), what made you want to get involved in the Feed the Pig campaign?
Paul Marcum: Our team at Truffle Pig knows how hard it is to save (we have offices in NY and LA, after all) and, as we dug in the content at feedthepig.org, we saw so much that could be helpful and extend into a number of channels.
AC: How do you/does Truffle Pig approach a social issue like helping and encouraging people to become financially literate?
PM: We want to thread it into the everyday: take concepts that may seem a bit academic and demonstrate them using real-life scenarios, de-stigmatize the discussion of the topic and provide advocates for the importance of savings who are more peer than parent.
AC: What’s your favorite part of the Truffle Pig’s social strategy for Feed the Pig?
PM: We’re excited to move Feed the Pig into two channels – the new benjaminbankes handle on Snapchat and the Feed the Pig recipes on IFTTT – that we see as creating new habits for the audience. Snapchat daily usage has of course exploded and learning to tell the Feed the Pig story in that context is essential to remaining relevant. IFTTT is amazing in that it allows for the creation of entirely new, automated routines that can help users save. In many ways it’s the channel where Feed the Pig can be the most integrated in the lives of their audience.
AC: Our goal is to reach millennials so they can truly become financially literate and plan for their futures. How did that larger goal guide your strategy and content development?
PM: We want the audience to internalize many of the calculators available at feedthepig.org – to apply that math to scenarios that feel incredibly familiar and demonstrate decisions that are achievable. We think there’s an opportunity to make financial literacy a daily moment.
AC: A lot of social media channels are pay to play. How can nonprofits with limited budgets stand out in the social space?
PM: Look for new features and platforms. Platforms push new features aggressively and it’s often an opportunity to ride their promotion if your ability to fund your own reach is limited. We’re seeing this now with Facebook Live Video and Feed the Pig leveraged that quickly with a simple but effective Q&A around taxes.
AC: Tell us a bit about yourself: How has your previous experience informed your work?
PM: I’ve been fortunate to work with a pretty wide variety of iconic brands – doubt you’ll find anyone who’s been at GE, Sesame Street and Bloomberg – as they embrace new platforms. Doing this successfully requires what I think of as finding a new latitude for the brand – identifying what you can use from existing channels and knowing how far you can push into a new context without losing brand equity or seeming silly. Once you have confidence in the process you can find some great opportunities for brands to remain vital.
AC: What is your favorite social platform and why?
PM: Snapchat! It’s joyful in a way that no other media platform is today. It offers an amazing array of visual tools and a more engaging integration between the virtual and the physical than we’ve seen in social so far. Of course, we see exciting developments across so many other platforms as well – Facebook’s live video is off to an amazing start and we predict that Twitter’s NFL streaming will be an amazing experience for fans.
AC: We know everyone is obsessed with Snapchat. What’s your advice for nonprofit organizations launching on Snapchat?
PM: Know that you don’t have to publish every day. It may actually be better to hold your budget until you find an opportunity where you can leverage an event, paid and organic to drive awareness and engagement. Try to remember too that the platform and your presence on it is newer by years than elsewhere – growth and fluency take time.
AC: Social media moves so fast. How do you stay ahead and what social/digital trends are you most excited about?
PM: I never stop reading and at Truffle Pig I’m surrounded by an incredibly talented team that loves media as much as I do. Perhaps you’ll find this surprising but it has actually gotten a lot easier to stay ahead the longer I’ve been in digital media. Though my jokes comparing some of today’s distribution deals to old AOL Anchor Tenant agreements seldom get any laughs, the parallels are unmistakable. The economics of attention are pretty straightforward.
I’m most excited today by the incredible power of automation, connected devices and mobile. They’re combining to give consumers efficiency never before seen and I think it leaves marketers with two choices: engage or serve. Interruptions have very little room in the lives of those who are incredibly efficient but successful distractions are still possible if you know the rules of the environment. A brand needs to be fluent across so many platforms to succeed – our goal with Truffle Pig is to help brands always align with user intent.
AC: Ok, I’ve got to ask. Why the name Truffle Pig?
PM: It takes a humble beast with a nose for the extraordinary to consistently deliver great ideas. The reaction to the name has been extraordinary – we’ve actually received offers to buy t-shirts with our logo on them through our site.