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Consumers Who’ll Speculate to Accumulate

by David Crosbie , 03.04.2012

The lastest UK offering from banking group Santander has an eye-catching premise – customers who take out a two-year ISA (a tax-free savings account) will get an extra 0.1% tax free bonus if golfer Rory IcIlroy, who signed a sponsorship deal with the bank last November, wins a golf Major.

Print adverts for the offer are keen to stress that even if McIlroy does not come up with the goods on the fairway, Santander’s ISA customers will still be getting a great deal; in other words it’s a ‘win-win’ situation. The appeal of the offer, however, is arguably a bit like having a flutter on a sporting event – if you have a little something riding on the outcome, it makes watching McIlroy play, or indeed waiting for your ISA to mature, that little bit more thrilling.

Data from Roper Reports Worldwide suggest that there could be an enthusiastic audience for similar propositions, even if they involve a little more risk, and particularly if they are aimed at men. Globally, 40% of men agree that when investing money, they don’t mind taking risks for greater rewards, vs. 29% of women. Indeed, this proclivity for risk-taking is one of the more polarizing attitudes between the genders in our study. The figure is higher still – 43% - among men in Developing markets of the world.

‘Gamification’ is a key buzzword among marketers at present, and while ‘riskification’ doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, the concept of enlivening an otherwise staid or functional activity with an element of gambling or risk could appeal to many male consumers, particularly those such as myself who find managing personal finances to be something of a tedious chore.

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