Nigeria - Using Media to Encourage Savings through Learning-By-Doing


  • PROJECT TITLE: Using Media to Encourage Savings through Learning-By-Doing
  • TARGET SEGMENT: Middle-income Nigerian consumers
  • DELIVERY CHANNEL: Television, Radio, Billboards, Print Media, YouTube, Facebook
  • EVALUATION TEAM: Alex Kaufman (Federal Reserve), Kelly Shue (University of Chicago, Booth School of Business), Benedikt Wahler (Roland Berger) Florentina Mulaj (World Bank), Martin Kanz (World Bank)
  • PARTNERS: Access Bank, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants
  • TIMELINE: March 2012-February 2013


This project explores how new media and “learning-by-doing” can encourage financially unsophisticated consumers to open and maintain savings accounts. Researchers will evaluate a promotion by a large Nigerian bank to examine (1) how consumers respond to different types of new media campaigns, e.g. internet and celebrity endorsements, and (2) how the experience of maintaining a savings account over a three month period can improve financial literacy and change long-term precautionary savings habits.

In 2011, InterContinental Bank in Nigeria launched a nationwide savings promotion called "I-Save I-Win" (ISIS). It featured a large number of heavily publicized lottery prizes for those who opened or maintained savings account and maintained savings balances above various threshold amounts -- N50,000 (US$320) for regional lotteries, N100,000 ($640) for the national prize -- for 90 days. Its message: although the special promotion included lottery prizes, every saver is a "winner". ISIW was promoted with a media push including celebrity endorsements and media releases through Facebook and YouTube, which were staggered over a period of several months.

This project will evaluate ISIW's impact on customers' savings habits and financial literacy. First, researchers will explore how the experience of maintaining savings accounts during the 90-day promotional period affects savers’ long-term savings habits. Second, they will examine how different media promotions affect customer participation in the program and savings behavior: which media pushes led to more sign-ups, and to what extent did each lottery winner have a "demonstration effect", i.e., inspiring others to increase savings at that particular branch.

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