Will they? Won’t they? AMP tests young’uns’ willpower with chocolate fish experiment

Retirement planning isn’t the sexiest of subjects. But AMP and Running With Scissors have added some human interest to the world of KiwiSaver schemes by conducting a psychological experiment to illustrate that a little bit of willpower now makes things all the sweeter in the future. 

AMP launched its new brand platform ‘Tomorrow belongs to those who start today‘ in October last year and to launch its new AMP KiwiSaver Scheme brand campaign, a group of 60 children who were given a chocolate fish and told they could eat it straight away or get two chocolate fish if they waited were filmed (by Flying Start). 

The idea is based on a series of studies on delayed gratification conducted at Stanford University in the late 1960s (and it was also one of the central themes in the movie The Five Year Engagement, which featured an experiment that left stale donuts on the table but said fresh ones were on their way). But while there’s plenty of concern about the lack of financial literacy among the younger generations, the results seemed to indicate the future looked fairly bright. 

“Most of the children were able to resist temptation for instant gratification because it resulted in greater rewards in the future,” says Blair Vernon, AMP’s general manager, marketing and customer sales.

The children did exploit a few loopholes and employ some interesting temptation-resistance techniques, however, including the ‘look away’ manoeuvre, the ‘lick – but that’s not eating’ gambit, the ’embrace the anger’ tactic, and the ‘stare-out’ strategy.

“Savings and retirement is not something these kids need to think about just yet, but it is something their parents and other working age New Zealanders should be thinking about if they want to achieve the quality of life in retirement they aspire to—and that’s what this campaign is about.”

AMP has more than 260,000 KiwiSaver Scheme members across its two KiwiSaver schemes, 16 percent of market share of KiwiSaver funds under management and is the market leader in workplace savings in New Zealand.

The campaign starts on TV on 30 June. 

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