Why we are launching our new TV ad
I'm very excited that we today unveil our new TV ad.
From day one on my VouchedFor journey, some 5 years ago, it was clear this would be a critical milestone. We can only achieve our vision - to help everyone get the best financial and legal advice on life's key decisions - if we first persuade everyone to take control of their financial and legal affairs. And, despite this digital age, TV remains the ultimate communication channel.
But making a TV ad is one thing. Persuading people to take control of their financial future is another altogether. The recently announced culling of the Money Advice Service, and cuts to the Pension Wise budget, are evidence of how difficult this is.
The TV ad began life in consumer focus groups. They confirmed some worrying but unsurprising truths. The participants knew that with the demise of final salary and state pensions they are more responsible than ever for planning their future finances. But they were paralysed by uncertainty. It simply isn't clear who - if anyone - is on their side. Banks? Governments? Pension companies? Advisers?
And then we showed them VouchedFor and the majority liked it. "It's long overdue" is one comment that stuck in my mind. They liked it. They were familiar with review websites, and it gave them confidence there were advisers out there, who are on their side, and have helped people just like them.
But trust alone is not enough. Retirement planning is not an urgent "Life Event" - like buying a house or dealing with death - where you are forced to act immediately. It's something that's important, but daunting, and is too easily put off until tomorrow, which is worrying given research that 9 out of 10 UK adults are falling short of their retirement goals.
We showed people various potential marketing stimuli and the conclusion was clear. They wanted "tough love". They wanted us to tell them in no uncertain terms to stop avoiding their financial future. But they wanted that message in a friendly way…..in a humorous way, no less.
And so we arrived at poor Clive, diving into a cold Yorkshire river in pursuit of an imaginary drowning duck, rather than admit he'd not yet sought financial advice.
We are launching the ad with an initial 4 week burst on channels such as Sky News, Channel 4 and National Geographic. We hope it works well, allowing us to broadcast it for much longer. We've worked hard to build a commercial model - with professionals paying a fee each time a consumer contacts them - that works for professionals and consumers alike - and helps our efforts to promote advice wherever we can do so effectively. With continued support from professionals, their clients (who so willingly review them) and the financial and legal industries at large, we hope in time we can indeed inspire everyone to get the best financial and legal advice.
Please do let us know any feedback you have on the ad!