For the third year, Sanlam challenged the King James Group to conceptualise a social experiment for National Savings Month. This year, we took on one of the biggest causes of debt and poor savings – conspicuous spending, a phenomenon fueled by ostentatious celebrities.
We needed to demonstrate how obsessive followership of celebrities’ lifestyles can impact behaviour – without saying it in so many words. Well, at least not at first. From 1 July, Cassper and Pearl’s feeds switched from images of their usual champagne and Bentleys, to the opposite. They posted orchestrated acts of conspicuous saving. Buying at thrift stores, having street-side haircuts, DIY manicures are examples. The response was immediate as millions of followers speculated: Are they broke? What’s going on? Amid the speculation, Cassper released a hit track “Mr Madumane (Big $pendah)” about the pitfalls of living beyond your means and Pearl appeared on the cover of Cosmopolitan wearing a hessian sack. She looked like a million bucks but her outfit cost considerably less! The article debunked common celebrity lifestyle myths. We hosted a reveal event - disguised as Cassper's music video launch party - and revealed that these acts of #ConspicuousSaving were part of Sanlam's National Savings Month campaign. Earned and paid media interviews and features with Sanlam, third-party experts, and celebrity partners drove home the saving message.