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Closing the money gap: What marketers need to know

21 October, 2015

Closing the money gap: What marketers need to know

Y&R Asia and VML reveal how finance brands can crack Generation Asia’s new attitudes towards money

SINGAPORE — There is a huge disconnect today between how young people view the role of money in their lives, and the age-old practices of financial institutions and brands. This is the Money Gap. Y&R Asia and VML’s latest proprietary report, ‘Closing the Money Gap’, uncovers major truths about young adults’ changing relationship with money and identifies broad opportunities for finance brands to stay relevant to the drivers of tomorrow.

“People are moving beyond being obsessed with money,” said Hari Ramanathan, Chief Strategy Officer, Y&R Asia. “In fact, 78% of 18-35 year olds in Asia, or what we call Generation Asia, believe that happiness is more important than making money. They want to do what they love at work and don’t mind putting in long hours. They have a desire to see the world, in a continuous quest to find what drives them.”

To Generation Asia, life is happening now—the very opposite of what has been the bedrock of financial planning and communications for decades.

“The role of money today is to enable freedom and empower the individual to take charge of opportunities in the present,” continued Ramanathan. “However, brands still only talk about their products and pragmatism. Their message is lost in translation to a generation which believe their passions will lead to money, instead of the old notion that money will eventually help them to pursue their interests.”

Added, Rajeev Lochan, Director & VP for Research and Finance, VML, “Success is no longer about making a big splash or financial accomplishments. It’s about being respected by your peer group for what you have achieved.”

This fundamental shift means Generation Asia do not connect with the old world imagery of luxury often found in financial services communications. In fact, it firmly positions such brands as being disconnected and belonging to another world. The report found that 80% perceive luxury as having new experiences, while 76% like to be the first to try new things.

“Generation Asia invests in experiences,” said Lochan. “Experimentation is their entire mindset and they expect money to aid their pursuit of discovery. It should be a liberator, not an anchor.”

The opportunity for brands, then, is to position themselves as a partner in self-exploration.

“Brands need to give themselves a role in this optimism-fuelled stage of life and leverage young people’s ambitions. Gain engagement and credibility by supporting Generation Asia’s passions,” concluded Lochan.

The report is based on insights gleaned from Generation Asia, the world’s largest study of connected Asians; BAV, the world’s largest consumer study of brands in Asia; and eXploring on-the-ground studies across China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Philippines and Singapore.

Access the full report here:

Magz Osborne
Regional Communications Director
Y&R Asia
Tel: +65 6671 3106
Mobile: +65 9029 9271

About Y&R
Y&R is one of the leading global marketing communications companies. It is made up of the iconic Y&R Advertising agency; VML, one of the most highly regarded and fastest-growing digital agencies in the world, and iconmobile, one of the premier mobile marketing companies.

Y&R’s largest agency, Y&R Advertising, has 187 offices in 91 countries around the world, with clients that include, Campbell’s Soup Company, Colgate-Palmolive, Danone, Virgin Atlantic, Xerox, GAP, Land Rover, and Telefonica, among many others. Y&R is part of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY).

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