Skipton Building Society –  Retiresavvy

The Brief

Originating in Skipton Building Society’s commitment to Community & Corporate Responsibility, was created from a brief to give something back to the communities in which its members live and work after they recognised consumers need more help and support in planning for a happy retirement. The Society realised there was an urgent need for a resource like after research it conducted showed that 39% of people were not confident in their own financial plans for retirement. Two in five said they are underprepared for their retirement.

The unique online community set out to encourage and empower people to take control of their own financial futures, following the new pension rules introduced on 6 April 2015, when people were facing more confusion and uncertainty than ever about what will become of their pensions and the options available to them once they retire.



“We worked together for around three years in total and during that time achieved industry recognised results together. Chocolate PR achieved extensive profile in traditional and social media, and among key influencers. Their track record in helping to deliver groundbreaking ideas, tangible value and industry recognised campaigns is undeniable. However, what I most value them for is their uniquely personal approach. They became extended members of my team who I knew I could always count on to go the extra mile and deliver results against the odds.!”

Tracy Fletcher

Head of Communications, Skipton Building Society

The Strategy

The overarching strategy was aimed at helping people prepare for the retirement they want by offering information, real-life case studies and peer to peer support and discussion..

Our marketing strategy with retiresavvy was always to be market leading, innovative and creative in how we communicated what is thought to be a very dry message.

  • Our content planning strategy was all about blending real people’s retirement stories with industry knowledge and guidance
  • We led with an industry first in creative social crowdsourcing, as the Society encouraged the UK to stand up for retirement rights, reaching 115k audience simultaneously with an innovative Thunderclap campaign, as Skipton Building Society become the first UK financial organisation and mutual to utilise a thriving social media platform that’s taken America by storm. Using a social tool employed by the White House, Royal British Legion and BBC to spread their messages online, Skipton Building Society urged supporters to stand up and take control of their retirements
  • Retiresavvy explored people’s retirement dreams at the WI Fair, sponsoring the lounge which provided a place to relax and unwind, whilst exploring the world of Retiresavvy. Carol Smilie and The Calendar Girls were special guests who also got involved with discussing bringing second careers to life, and sharing their own retirement dreams
  • We created a press event like no other  – The ‘DNA of Retirement’ which saw a panel discussed, headed up by Jennie Bond, discussing the retirement DNA of a number of different case studies. Psychological scientific testing was used to predict the type of retirement personas guests would have, from worker, to comfort seeker, to adventurer as celebrities and journalists alike had a taste of the future

Featured Media

Target media for the over 50s such as Yours Magazine helped us spread the word –, as did financial trade titles, but we also worked with a broader range of media to reach new audiences such as Dad Blog UK –

The Results

Thunderclap –  Lawyers, doctors, stay-at-home parents and government advisors came together to share to share the message ‘Join the revolution, fight for the retirement you deserve’ across their Facebook and twitter profiles, and encouraged others to add their voices to the campaign. Skipton’s Thunderclap campaign reached 115,000 social media users simultaneously with an online ‘flashmob’, calling on people across the UK to help raise the awareness of the issue. The campaign gained support from recognised players in the retirement world including Dr Ros Altmann CBE, the UK Government’s Business Champion for Older Workers, who had recently been appointed Pensions Minister; The International Longevity Centre UK (ILC); and Henry Tapper, pensions expert and founder of leading financial blog Pension Playpen. David Cascino, CEO Thunderclap, said: “It’s great to see financial institutions like Skipton have the foresight to embrace social media and leverage emerging platforms like Thunderclap. No other financial organisations in the UK have yet used our platform so Skipton and retiresavvy really are innovators in their field.”

Industry recognition – Dr Ros Altmann CBE, the UK Government’s Business Champion for Older Workers, and an independent expert on consumer finance, pensions and retirement, said:  “I’m really pleased to see Skipton has taken the time and trouble to develop this resource. Helping people plan ahead is so important, and I welcome the fact that retiresavvy is not just about financial planning, but much more.”

Getting families talking about retirement – We were delighted to work with Jennie Bond on our DNA of Retirement event and she attracted attention from multiple media, including Good Housekeeping – which gave us the chance to talk to the family audience we were trying to get to re-think their approach to retirement planing –

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