Sanlam makes history with SA's first media launch in the metaverse

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Experience life in a day in the metaverse with LI:FE of Confidence and Sanlam.
Experience life in a day in the metaverse with LI:FE of Confidence and Sanlam.

Have you ever wondered how the financial planning decisions you make throughout your lifetime will play out in the future?

On Tuesday, Sanlam launched its LI:FE of Confidence campaign to help answer that question during the country's first-ever media launch to be held in the metaverse.

During the first-of-its kind launch, attendees were directed to a metaverse site where they could create and personalise an avatar. The avatar then joined a virtual setting where they were introduced to Zesande - a computer-generated virtual 'human' who lives her life in a day. Existing in the metaverse, Zesande lives out her entire life in just 24 hours, realistically ageing over a day and learning lessons each hour linked to key life stages. Through this, attendees got insight into the campaign as well as research from Mariska Oosthuizen, Chief Marketing Officer at Sanlam.

In the campaign Zesande, a black South African female, starts her day as a 20-year-old who just entered the job market. By lunch she is in her 40s and by 20:00, she is in her 60s planning her retirement based on the different financial planning choices she made during her different life stages. Throughout the day she guides consumers through the big financial decisions she has made at that life stage and meets South Africans where they are - at their age - via a web and mobile experience as part of the multi-touchpoint programme. She shares her lessons from different life stages for people to implement in their own lives.

"Because we can't see ourselves in the future, we don’t plan for it," said Oosthuizen during the unique launch. "I think the challenge lies in finding ways for people to really counteract that present bias that we have. That's exactly where LI:FE of Confidence comes in. We counter-balanced these present biases that we have with a time period that we can all conceive, which is a 24-hour day. We live a 24-hour day every day."

Through Zesande, compound interest, retirement savings, and life insurance concepts are taught and related to the stages of life when they are most crucial for people, assisting them in realistically visualising how their financial lives will develop over time.

"The metaverse allowed us to present a financial education message to the media in dramatic and fantastical ways that would not be possible in the real world. LI:FE of Confidence is the first campaign of its kind in South Africa," said Matt Ross, Group Executive Creative Director at King James.

LI:FE of Confidence
Experience life in a day in the metaverse with LI:FE of Confidence and Sanlam.

The campaign's educational and ground-breaking premise was supported by a Sanlam-commissioned survey on News24 which asked more than 5000 South Africans from different demographics crucial questions about their financial planning.

"It showed we are not making the right money moves at key life stages, resulting in massive gaps in financial planning. More than half (54%) of respondents would advise their younger selves to think of money as an asset to grow, rather than a luxury to spend. Despite theoretically knowing what to do to thrive financially, many are understandably focused on pressing short-term financial priorities," Oosthuizen said.

Apart from the educational value the campaign offers, Paul Hanratty, Sanlam Group Chief Executive Officer, said it also aided the company’s rapid journey to being digitally led. 

"The other thing we are hoping this will do is to open up new markets for us and allow us to reach customers who previously may well have been denied access to financial services. For our business as a whole, we see technology and the use of technology as one of the absolutely key levers for growth in our business and our business has an imperative to grow as most businesses do," he said at the launch.

To explore Sanlam’s LI:FE of Confidence campaign and meet Zesande yourself, visit

This post was sponsored by Sanlam and produced by Adspace Studio.

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