Nedbank reveals the secret behind Secrets

The secret is out…

Secrets, a new short-form movie, was launched at a glittering premiere at NuMetro’s Hyde Park cinema on 18th July, where it was revealed that Nedbank is behind the film, trailers for which have been prominent on multiple channels for the first two weeks of July.

“We’re excited about this being a first for the financial services industry, and with the topic being that of money, which is viewed as taboo, we wanted to keep Nedbank’s involvement secret until the launch to provide maximum impact—and to connect with the movie’s theme,” says Khensani Nobanda, Group Executive Marketing & Corporate Affairs at Nedbank. “Money is something nobody likes talking about, and this movie shows graphically how toxic these secrets can be.

“Given the extent of the problem, we felt it was imperative that as a responsible corporate citizen, we initiate a national conversation about the secret mainsprings of our money behaviour, and how to cultivate a more positive attitude towards it.”

Nedbank’s bold move to sponsor a commercial-quality movie that would put an uncomfortable topic at the head of the national agenda was prompted by the current context of a nation plagued by unsustainable money behaviours. The statistics are alarming, where one in three South Africans have lost money investing in pyramid schemes; three out of five South Africans spend more than they earn, and 82% of small businesses fail because of bad cash-flow management.

Starring Brett Williams, Hlubi Mboya and Lindiwe Dim, Faniswa Yisa, Tevin Musara, Rolanda Marias, and shot by Romance Films under the creative direction of Joe Public United, Secrets tells the stories of three South Africans. The stories chronicle the devastating impact on them and those around them caused by their secret, unquestioned money habits.

“Stories are powerful ways of communicating important issues in all cultures, so we wanted to leverage film to make this message as accessible—and as gripping—as possible. The secrecy theme speaks to the heart of the problem: we just don’t understand the deep emotional impulses that rule our decisions, particularly our money decisions,” Nobanda says. “This is the first step in a journey of helping our clients—and South Africans —to move towards financial well-being.”

Nedbank has partnered with psychologist, Dr Tshepiso Matentjie, to create a framework for this journey based on the concept of emotional wealth.

“Understanding that our supposedly rational minds are actually influenced by largely unacknowledged emotional triggers is the starting point of the journey—something that the film communicates so poignantly,” Dr Matentjie says. “We also want to introduce the concept of emotional wealth, the mindset that supports the attainment of a positive relationship with money within the context of our own personal goals.”

Achieving emotional wealth, she says, will mean looking deeply at ourselves to understand what our particular attitude towards money is. Together with Nedbank executives, she has adapted eight money archetypes to the South African context to help facilitate this process. Clients will then be helped to use this knowledge to take positive action; uncover money secrets and adjust behaviours as necessary.

Nobanda says that this campaign is a natural outcome of Nedbank’s positioning as Financial experts who do good. The realisation that South Africans need to manage their money well is also prompting the bank to rethink the way it offers its products and services, adopting a more holistic approach aimed at supporting customers’ journey towards financial freedom, rather than simply offering point solutions and products.

Secrets is hopefully the first step on a journey towards deeper knowledge about why we make the money decisions we do, and ultimately to make better ones,” Nobanda concludes. “Nedbank sees the extent of the challenge, and we are making sure that we are able to play our part in helping our customers—and the public at large—overcome it.


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