The AICPA and the state CPA societies, partnering with the Ad Council, are extending the reach of the highly successful 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy initiative by implementing a national public service announcement (PSA) campaign. Under the umbrella concept of Feed the Pig™, the campaign targets 25-34 year olds, commonly known as Career Builders.
Complementing traditional communications such as TV, print, radio and billboards, the campaign also extends its savings message through new media easily accessible to the target audience, such as weekly e-savings tips, podcasts, text messages, widgets and Benjamin Bankes’ Facebook page and Twitter messages. The campaign Web site, www.FeedthePig.org, includes interactive tools to help the target audience proactively change their discretionary spending habits as well as measure the affect of their current habits on their future savings.
Feed the Pig was the first national financial literacy PSA campaign and is the only one that targets 25-34 year-olds.
Why This Campaign is Needed Now
With the current economic crisis, it’s more urgent than ever that all Americans make changes now in their saving and spending habits. This is especially critical for the Feed the Pig target audience. An update of the 2006 AICPA-commissioned study Savings and Asset Accumulation among Americans 25-34 by Beacon Economics shows that between 1985 and 2005, Americans 25–34 years old experienced significant declines in net worth and increases in debt. This data covers a time period before the launch of the Feed the Pig campaign as 2005 is the most recent year that data is available. During this time period, younger Americans:
- Saw their savings rate decline from an already low rate of 1.5% of disposable income to an even lower minus 2.2%.
- Carries 70 cents worth of debt for every dollar worth of assets.
- Experienced an increase in median non-housing debt — from $5,000 in 1985 to $9,000 in 2005. In contrast, the median debt levels for Americans 35–64 increased from $5,000 to $6,000 during this same period.
- Saw their net worth outside of housing for fall from a median $6,000 in 1985 to $4,100 in 2005. By contrast, Americans 35–64 saw their median net worth climb from $20,000 to $28,000 during the same period.
The Feed the Pig target audience can find free financial information and interactive tools to help them make positive changes by visiting www.feedthepig.org. The site receives 100,000 visitors each month. More than 120,000 have signed up to receive weekly reminders featuring easy and practical tips to pay down debt and increase savings.
For more in-depth information, visitors are directed to the highly successful 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy consumer Web site, www.360financialliteracy.org. This site offers additional guidance and information on financial literacy programs in their communities.
In addition, campaign components include: payday reminders sent via text messages; Facebook and iGoogle widgets; and Benjamin Bankes’ enhanced profile pages on Facebook and Twitter. These components are accessible via the Feed the Pig Web site.