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Germany has a real problem of great social relevance: the pension gap between men and women. In fact, women currently get only half as much pension as men and three out of four are facing poverty when they get retired. Unfortunately, despite this frightening facts, far too few women worry about their retirement. That's why Sparkasse, Germany biggest bank, wanted to give them a wake up call and get women talk and think about this issue, while strengthening the role of Sparkasse as THE bank for the people.


Pensions are not an issue that young people and especially women like to think about, let alone talk about. It is too complex. It is not fun. It is not emotional. It is only important for the "future self". Unless you show them the absurd challenges they would have to face, if they didn't start taking their finances into their own hands. Because if they don't face reality today, they would probably have to find a sugar daddy or start dealing their own meds when they're old. Obviously very bad advices. We used extreme but still realistic insights like this and published fake self-help books to get one message clear: Better good advice than bad self help.


German pension policy has failed. Currently, three out of four women are threatened by poverty in old age - a big problem of enormous social relevance. The main culprit? The pension gap. But the biggest problem: Most of the women don't even know about the gap and the terrifying situation in general. That's why we wanted to give young women a wake up call, while telling them that they are not alone. How? We showed them what bad opportunities they would have left, if they do not start to think about their pension. Therefore, we created fake self help books so provocative that media had to write about it.


To reach our young target group (women aged between 24 – 35) and to open a public conversation about the topic itself, the campaign took place on social media (Instagram and Facebook). In order to generate momentum, we launched the campaign on the first day of the Frankfurt book fair. Since at this time of the year all of Germany is talking about books. To attract even more attention, we partnered up with Nike van Dinther, one of the most famous feminist influencers of Germany, who addresses gender related topics. Getting advantage of her public appearance and confronted the people with this topic. Always carrying our message "Better good advice than bad self help."


Within a single week, the books generated nearly 10 million media impressions and reached over 6 million women. It was widely shared and commented on social media. Women (and men!!!) across all generations not only gave their thumbs up but also really loved the idea. The online community got crazy about the books and asked, where they could actually buy them. They even became creative themselves, making up their own book titles. Besides Nike, other German influencers and activists jumped on board and even shared our message without being hired by us. The campaign was covered in dozens of major publications all over Germany. With the help of an absurd book company Germany was finally talking about the pension gap and we've reached our goal to empower women to face reality and take the matter in their own hands.

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