Even though 1 in 3 millennials say that their number one goal for the year is to save money, the majority also report that impulse buying gets in the way. So our financial literacy campaign was posed with an interesting challenge: How do you get young people excited about saving? With that in mind, earlier this year, the Ad Council partnered with Games for Change to present the ‘Feed the Pig Challenge,’ a game-design contest aimed at helping young adults redefine how they think about their finances, and making saving fun! Finalists presented their ideas to the deciding panel (Paul Marcum of Truffle Pig, Marguerite Dibble of gametheory, Gregory J. Anton of AICPA, and Eric Zimmerman of The New School) and a live audience at the Games for Change’s Game and Media Summit in New York this month in the hopes of winning the $10,000 grand prize.
All three finalist ideas were genuinely creative, innovative and thoughtful. Each had a unique approach to reaching young people about saving. The winner was Scott Garner’s game Yesterday’s Tomorrow which imagines how a player’s life might change as they make certain financial decisions over others. The game left everyone in the room rethinking their choices.
We chatted with Garner following his win and learned more about him, his game idea and how it can help change the way millennials think about their money.
Ad Council: Give us the elevator pitch for your game.
Scott Garner: The basic idea is that you want to develop a relationship with a future version of yourself. It’s hard to do that if you’re just making choices in a vacuum, not knowing the outcome. But in this game you can jump through your character’s life and instantly see the outcomes of those choices – which will hopefully help you see that’s kind of how real life works also.
AC: How do you think it will help people re-think financial literacy?
SG: I’ve done work in the past and have thought a lot about that relationship between me at different ages— in a certain way they are different people and in a certain way obviously they are the same person. It took me a long time to really connect with that; but ultimately I think it can help people understand that helping the future you is helping you. A subset of that is making good financial choices.
AC: We received over 70 detailed, creative and well thought-out submissions. What do you think made your submission stand out?
SG: What matters to me is that it makes you feel something. I can tell you something all day but it’s different if it makes you feel something. I can tell you that planning for the future is important, but if I can create art that makes you feel that planning is important that is a totally different level of connection.
Sound like a game that could work for you? We’re currently working with Games for Change and Scott to move the game idea through to development. Stay tuned for updates!