The Financial Planning Association of Australia The Financial Planning Association of Australia

Financial Planning Association launches campaign to target consumer advice gap

The Financial Planning Association (FPA) has launched a national television, print and online advertising campaign to demonstrate the importance of choosing a professional, qualified financial planner by looking for a member of the FPA. The campaign is part of a 5-year $15 million strategy.

The FPA is Australia’s peak association for professional financial planning. It has over 8,000 members including over 5,600 Certified Financial Planner® professionals who have achieved the highest professional and ethical credential in financial planning, recognised around the world. More than a quarter of FPA’s members have higher qualifications and experience than required by law.

The campaign, developed by Sydney advertising agency Banjo, compares the qualifications and experience of financial planners with doctors, lawyers, pharmacists and pilots with the strap line “not all financial planners are the same, always look for a member of the FPA”.

“Our brief was two-fold’, said Andrew Varasdi Managing Partner of Banjo Advertising. “The first part of this was to elevate financial planning as a profession in the minds of consumers and in doing so position the FPA and its members as the industry standard for financial planning.”

The campaign compares the qualifications and experience of FPA financial planners to other professions under a new position for the association – FPA. Best Practice.

The advertising, costing £2.5 million, will appear on free-to-air metropolitan, regional and national TV, with some pay TV coverage, in mainstream and regional newspapers and online throughout September and October. The campaign is also supported by a 6-month paid online search campaign to drive further activity to the FPA’s new website.

“Our industry has spent millions of dollars advertising the value of financial advice over the years. We believe that in a post-GFC world, we need to move on from that and it’s more important than ever for consumers to find advice they can trust. Given the complexity of the financial planning category, research played a critical role in identifying insights and in concept testing, the results of which were outstanding” FPA General Manager of Marketing, Lindy Jones said.

“Only 2 in 5 Australians seek financial advice. Consumers need advice but simply don’t know where to turn. The reality is that there are many thousands of highly qualified, professional financial planners in Australia. They are honest, they care, they love their clients and they are committed to their profession. This campaign is about connecting consumers with these professionals.”

The advertising campaign has been funded entirely from individual FPA member contributions. The FPA’s media buying strategy agency, Match, has developed a fully integrated offline and online campaign and delivered tremendous value, securing around $3 million of value for a $1.3 million TV spend.

“This project was a terrific challenge for us; promoting an unknown consumer brand to a specific target audience of consumers age 35 – 64 with $150,000+ of investible assets. We are particularly happy with the way the digital strategy, a new territory for the FPA has dovetailed into the press and TV campaign. We are pleased with the way the strategy translated into execution, delivering the FPA members real value for money.” said Match Strategy Director, Ian Czencz.

The campaign is being launched at a critical time for the Australian financial services industry. This week, the Government will announce the second tranche of its draft rules on ‘Future of Financial Advice’ reforms. The FPA has been at the centre of these discussions, urging the Government to use these reforms to increase consumer trust in financial planning and address the gap in Australians seeking professional advice.

The FPA Advertising Campaign: Fast Facts

Where will you see the campaign?
  • National, metropolitan and regional FTV and PTV, press and online
  • Metropolitan vs regional split is 60:40 
When will the campaign run?
  • For approximately 5 weeks from 18th September 2011 
Media spend breakdown 
  • 65% – TV (national, including regional areas)
  • 15% – Print (national, metro and regional newspapers and selected magazines)
  • 5% – online websites
  • 15% – Search Engine Optimisation (6 months of activity) 
What did the consumer testing tell us?
  • 87% said the TV ad had a clear message which they understood
  • 43% brand attribution, i.e. could recall who the ad was for
  • 90% heard the message “Not all financial planners are the same”
  • 90% heard the message “Always look for an FPA financial planner”
  • 83% heard the message “FPA members work to higher professional standards”
  • Top 4 positive qualities attributed to the FPA: qualified, educated, professional, experienced
  • Favourable perception of financial planning – before seeing ads: 51%
  • Favourable perception of financial planning – after seeing ads: 69%