You’re a bloke that’s nudged north of forty and still block out what that doctor needs to do at your next check-up. You might be a woman notching up five years with a bloke that (still) finds more joy in his X-box than a Saturday afternoon hanging out with you.
You know it’s been coming for ages and has to happen. Your mate has you alone, and probes the areas of your life you know need fixing. But you’re just too busy. It can wait. Cant it?
We just finished filming an ad for TV that rips open the moment most of us normal people dread- when our most together mate lets us know that it’s time to change habits of a lifetime. Most times you think they’re just a little bit too in control, but underneath you know that there’s no more lame excuses. No escaping the fact that you’ve grown up and have to think of the autumn years that just got whole lot closer.
I’m not silver yet. I’m not partial to pastel knitwear. And don’t hold your breath waiting to see me poolside in a fluffy white bathrobe.
But- after some persistent prodding I’ve got to know my doctor real well (better than I’ll ever know my mates) and I took the test. I got my super in order and I’m yet to turn forty-five; twenty years before I’ll need it. First time I’ve been early with anything in my life.
And that’s what this ad is about- breaking the inertia on something we all know needs just a little bit of attention now that can have a profound effect on how we live way, way down the track.
I was nervous about the ad campaign. Not just because millions will judge whether it’s memorable and effective enough to inspire behaviour change, but because of what’s come before. There are only a few Australians that won’t know how to put on a deep voice and say “compare the pair- same age, same income”. It’s the ‘not happy Jan’ of the last decade.
The original compare the pair was a work of genius. It casts a shadow to this day- running nine years and influencing the way we all save for our retirement. All done in a category- financial services- that generally doesn’t get consumers, like, all lit up and talking. Our turf is no Superbowl. Remember that.
The intimacy of mates shooting the breeze about their life seemed like a good entry point to unearth a couple of things we all know to be true; one: it’s often only our closest mates that can nudge us out of a deep track after pressing for some time (even years); and two: some super funds are much, much better than others.
I can’t count the number of times a close mate said to me ‘you know where it’s gonna end don’t you’: relationships, career choices, smoking, the next glass of wine, health checks- you name it.
Now, on the park bench, I can turn and look him in the eye and say. “Yep, I gone and done it already- next”