Prudential commissioned consumer consultancy The Henley Centre to
compile a report examining the impact of social, political, economic and
technological change on the four age groups typified as Seniors, Baby
Boomers, Generation X-ers and Millennial Kids using its own research
sources and Government statistics.
Social analysts were invited to examine the findings, identify new
issues and predict how they might affect each generation to gain a
picture of life in the UK in 2020.
Prudential’s objective was to anticipate future customer requirements
and adapt its financial products to meet these changing needs. The
report was also used to commemorate the company’s 150th anniversary.
To position Prudential as a forward thinking institution, demonstrate
its commitment to its customers and gain publicity for the company’s
The key findings were presented to selected journalists from the
nationals, financial services, marketing and women’s and men’s consumer
titles at a breakfast forum.
Laurie Taylor, professor of politics and sociology at Birkbeck College
and Jane Falkingham, lecturer in population studies and social policy at
the London School of Economics, were present so rather than merely
announcing the results, a thinktank-style discussion of the findings
could take place.
The second phase of the campaign focused on the broadcast media. A
studio was booked and Henley spokespeople set a day aside for radio and
television interviews. A comprehensive media push, individually
targeting the remaining national, general consumer, marketing and
management press consolidated the campaign tactics.
There was a 90 per cent attendance at the breakfast forum including
journalists from the Financial Times, the Independent, Cosmopolitan and
the New Statesman.
BBC 1 Breakfast News, BBC1 Business Breakfast and Channel 5 News were
among the broadcast media that covered the story, along with 19 radio
interviews by stations including BBC Radio 4 Today, You and Yours, BBC
Radio 5 Breakfast Show and GLR Breakfast. In total there were 50
Manning, Selvage and Lee commissioned two companies to conduct an
independent evaluation of the programme. A media independent, who
chooses to remain unnamed, evaluated audience reach and discovered that
the campaign reached 25.4 per cent of all adults. Mantra assessed media
content and found a ratio of 11:1 of positive over negative
Prudential was generally portrayed as forward thinking and its
commitment to its customers’ future needs was highlighted. There were
also frequent mentions of its 150-year history. Planning and evaluation
accounted for 15 per cent of the budget.
MS&L’s brief was fairly straightforward and the report offered many
useful PR angles with which to target specific media, making the
agency’s job easier.
However the work carried out by Manning, Selvage and Lee did elevate
what could have been an ordinary press conference into a more
authoritative platform by pulling in well-known social experts. The
agency also undertook a very thorough evaluation, which proved its
tactics led to an impressive amount of media coverage.
PR Team: Manning Selvage and Lee
Campaign: The launch of Prudential’s ’Next Generation: Lifestyles for
the future’ report.
Timescale: 9 June-26 June 1998
Budget: pounds 11,000