Engaging citizens with major pension reform

Mindshare, Norway

Norway realised that its public pension costs would soon become unaffordable – reforms were necessary. Mindshare's campaign encouraged Norwegians to save and plan for their pensions.

Client

Norwegian Labour and Welfare Service (NAV)

Challenge

The public pension reform was the single largest reform in Norway, affecting every working person under 67 years old in some way. This required a complex media planning exercise: the reforms needed to be communicated to different target audiences, with different messages, through different media channels, over an extended period of time. Focus groups conducted prior to planning revealed that most people were uncomfortable addressing the issue of pensions, as it had traditionally been the responsibility of the state. Many people kept putting off their retirement planning, saying ‘I’ll look into it when I’m 50.’ Knowledge of pensions was limited and fragmented at best, and awareness of where to access information was low. The reputation of the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Service (NAV) and public services had room for improvement.

The communication challenge was to make target audiences aware of the options available, know where to access information, and start a dialogue about their pension plan.

Strategy and Solution

The key message was that people had to take responsibility for their own pension. They should no longer expect the state to take care of their retirement. However, the messages were nuanced for different target groups - those approaching pension age, middle aged and younger workers. 

One aspect of the reforms was the new flexibility to decide when between the ages of 62 and 67 to start receiving the state pension. NAV wanted to encourage people to make an active decision about when to start receiving their pension, without prompting everyone to take their pension at the earliest possible age of 62.

To get the message across, Mindshare came up with the 'din pensjon' ('Your pension') campaign theme. This emphasised that your pension is now ‘your’ responsibility, so ‘you’ need to have a plan for it. 

For the core target group (those approaching 62 years), the reforms had an immediate impact so we needed to get the message across fast. Based on our insights on media consumption for this age group, we planned a campaign that started with PR, print advertising and social media to build awareness; then moved on to TV advertising with a strong call to action; and followed up with shorter TV ads, print and targeted online advertising. 

For the younger target groups, the aim was to make them aware of the reforms and to encourage them to become more engaged in their own pension planning and saving. This was the start of a much longer process, so the campaign was just the initial communication on a lifelong journey. We used digital and social media more heavily to engage the younger groups. 

Outcome

While the main goal of the campaign was to raise awareness of the importance of pension planning, we were careful not to drive the core target audience to quit work and start receiving their pension at 62 – which would have been expensive and counterproductive.

The evidence suggests we successfully communicated this sophisticated message. While our reach and frequency targets for the campaign were met, NAV did not see a large increase in call volumes – a perfect result.

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