Perbadanan Insurans Deposit Malaysia (PIDM) has launched an anchor mnemonic character known as Chief BerUang to act as a financial ambassador and face of PIDM’s financial resilience campaign. The character's name is a mnemonic play on the Malay words "beruang" meaning "bear" and "Ber-Uang" meaning "having money".
Done in collaboration with Reprise Digital, the bear is part of PIDM's #BorakBeruang campaign to provide financial education amongst young Malaysians. According to the agency, the Borneo sun bear was selected as the advocate as it is one of Malaysia's vulnerable animals listed by International Union for Conservation of Nature. Other factors the team considered when selecting the bear was that they do not hibernate, demonstrating that it was not lazy, and that they are known to be excellent climbers, which was translated to how Chief BerUang can help customers “climb the money ladder”.
The campaign comprises a series of animated videos featuring Chief BerUang as a talk show host providing advice on good financial management across a wide variety of financial-related topics including planning your salary split, how to save, and tips on spending wisely. Chief BerUang is joined on the show by a sidekick character in the form of a horse, Encik Kedek, a play on the word "kedekut" meaning "miserly". The campaign currently runs on PIDM’s Facebook and YouTube channel.
According to Reprise Digital, the campaign was a year in the making and came after it won the pitch with PIDM mid last year. Inspired by Apple’s Animojis, the agency wanted to make Chief BerUang and Encik Kedek the icons of savings and financial literacy. It added that it chose to predominantly focus on the age range between 18 to 35, as they would be actively building their careers and positioning themselves in the world.
Kim Chew, client service director of Reprise Digital, said that the campaign’s goal was to inject an element of playfulness and fun in driving home this message in a way that is more relatable to younger audiences, to get them to a space where they’re happy to tune in to it. She added that as financial related topics are very often viewed as heavy or serious by younger audiences, building a memorable face with the mnemonics and play of words would help to “drive memorability of the brand and retention of the key messages of financial savviness.”
This is not PIDM’s first attempt at reaching out to a younger audience, as the government statutory board had engaged cartoonist Lat for a public awareness campaign back in 2015. The campaign was featured on traditional media channels including TV, radio and print ads, as well as well as online and social media platforms. The brand also used Lat's work in other communication materials planned for the later part of 2015, such as brochures, posters and membership decals.
More recently, PIDM appointed founder of Citrine One Group, Ivlynn Yap, as GM of communications and public affairs division, reporting to COO and general counsel Lim Yam Poh. She manages a team of 12 and is responsible for PIDM's overall crisis communications preparedness strategy and public outreach campaigns. According to her, PIDM has already achieved good awareness levels year-on-year, so the next step is to enhance the public's understanding and trust in PIDM.
In a similar move, POSB Singapore also released an animated storybook adventure as part of its campaign to remind parents that planning for their child’s future should not mean sacrificing their own. The use of animation was one way to experiment with a different medium to communicate an important part of financial planning and make it relatable.