Over the past decade, the International Content Marketing Awards have become the gold standard for the content marketing industry, with companies from over 25 countries competing for recognition in 2020.

The awards are run by the Content Marketing Association, a United Kingdom-based not-for-profit association that aims to grow and promote the global content industry.

Glenn Gillis, CEO of Sea Monster, says, "We're humbled by the award — not only because of the huge competition we were up against, including many European heavyweights, but because we won this for the best use of data and insights, which is becoming such a critical element of modern marketing."

"We're also extremely proud that, once again, South African innovation has been acknowledged in this way internationally. It seriously places what we can achieve here on the global map and shows that our home-grown solutions can compete with the best in the world," adds Gillis.

The challenge which Capitec presented to Sea Monster was to bring a fresh approach that would help South African consumers, especially young adults, improve their financial capability. This entailed strengthening their knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours around making financial decisions.

"Capitec wanted to achieve this via a mobile game solution," adds Gillis, "and we designed it to allow players to take on the roles of relatable characters as they played out their own aspirational stories of how to save money to achieve their financial goals."

According to Jean Rossouw, head of financial education in Capitec's marketing and communications division, it was important to approach Livin' it Up as a product, as opposed to a once-off financial education campaign.

"Being a data-driven solution means that we use data to understand, among other aspects, the effectiveness of the app, our marketing strategies, our audience, how they interact, why and where attrition occurs, as well as what the user journeys look like. This also enables us to optimise our solution to deliver the most educational value to our users," says Rossouw. 

Launched to the public in September 2019, but subject to constant updates since then, the game has already attracted the attention of over 78 000 unique users, with over 220 000 completed sessions and an average daily user engagement of close to 18 minutes.

An essential element of the game was to break the myth that only high-income earners can save. And while the mobile application was designed for South Africa, it has global appeal. This was first seen on the rest of the African continent but then also further afield.

"We have a universal crisis in the growing income and wealth disparity divide. As such, we have a very real need to educate and empower individuals everywhere about the types of behavioural change that will help them make sound, practical financial decisions with whatever disposable income they may have available," Gillis says.

Rossouw indicates that the game is not only for Capitec consumers and can be downloaded by anyone.

"Our objective is that Livin' it Up will increase awareness among South Africans of the importance of consistent savings behaviour to achieve financial goals. Our aim is to see the implicit and explicit educational elements in the app and its supporting content, [and to] increase their knowledge to help improve their savings behaviour," Gillis concludes. 

For more information, visit www.seamonster.co.za. You can also follow Sea Monster Entertainment on Facebook, Twitter or on Instagram