Prudential launches Cha-Ching Money-Smart Kids - a first in Asia

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Regional - 6 September 2011

Asia's First-Of-Its-Kind Animated Musical Edutainment Series Helps Parents Build Money-Smart Values for Kids

Prudential Corporation Asia today unveiled Cha-Ching Money-Smart Kids, the first multi-country, multi-platform programme to help parents in Asia build money-smart values for children aged seven to 12. Central to the programme is a brand new series of animated musical cartoons focused on financial literacy - the first of its kind in Asia. The episodes will be broadcast on Cartoon Network in seven markets (Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) starting on the 9th of September. In addition to the TV content, the programme features an interactive website with extensive digital resources for parents, kids and educators.

Need for Financial Literacy Support in Asia

Prudential initiated a regional survey1 across seven markets (Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) to understand Asian parents' perspectives on their children's money management skills. The results revealed that almost all kids (96 per cent regionally; 80 per cent in Hong Kong) receive regular pocket money. However, few parents (13 per cent regionally; 8 per cent in Hong Kong) believe their children possess very good money management skills, although almost all (95 per cent regionally; 94 per cent in Hong Kong) think it is important to learn them. The majority of parents (94 per cent regionally; 89 per cent in Hong Kong) also say they want to get more involved and are looking for tools to support their financial education efforts, and prefer TV and the Internet as a medium for using these tools.

Barry Stowe, Chief Executive, Prudential Corporation Asia, said:"Prudential has a long-standing commitment to financial education in Asia and has already developed successful programmes for working mothers, high school and middle school children. We saw a need to round out our financial literacy efforts to an even younger audience. Children in Asia are growing up in families with more disposable income than they had previously and there is now a growing interest in and need for financial literacy skills for children. Cha-Ching will provide parents with the tools to teach their children essential and responsible money management skills in a fun and engaging way."

Earn, Save, Spend and Donate

Cha-Ching uses an 'edutainment approach' to build children's understanding of four fundamental money management pillars - Earn, Save, Spend and Donate - and provides opportunities to begin practicing these essential skills at a young age. The segments aim to improve understanding of the four individual concepts as well as the way they connect to each other.

The programme responds to particular needs identified in the survey where just around half of parents (44 per cent regionally; 51 per cent in Hong Kong) feel their children are saving only because they had told them to. Very few parents (8 per cent regionally; 12 per cent in Hong Kong) think their kids are keeping track of their spending. And, although parents believe their kids understand money has to be earned (93 per cent regionally; 88 per cent in Hong Kong), they also say their kids would just ask for more money when they need it (58 per cent regionally; 59 per cent in Hong Kong).

To bring the Cha-Ching concept to life, Prudential worked closely with different experts including leveraging the expertise of Dr. Alice Wilder, an internationally-recognised children's education specialist, in developing the content, as well as the strong production capabilities of Cartoon Network, the region's number one channel for kids.

Dr. Alice Wilder, said:"Children are hugely influenced by what they see and when it comes to money, what they mostly see is spending. The principles of earn, save, spend and donate show children that they have choices with their money. The programme helps them learn about the concepts and put them into practice. Ultimately this practice will help to build essential and responsible money management habits."

Sunny Saha, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific, Inc., said:"Cartoon Network is delighted to be supporting Prudential in its efforts to educate families about the importance of financial management. As a leader in kids' entertainment and original content creation, the channel serves as a great platform to engage millions of kids and their parents in a way that's informative yet incredibly animated and fun. We're confident that Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids will inspire a whole new generation of kids who know what it means to earn, save, spend and donate."

The four fundamental money management concepts are made relevant to kids through the Cha-Ching band, which is made up of six characters who each have a different approach to money management.

Each of the 10 animated segments is three minutes long, and features a catchy song in English with lyrics that children can sing along to, which helps aid understanding, memory and learning. The fun and lively characters encourage children to fully engage with the show and connect with the stories in a very personal and aspirational way.

Key topics covered by the 10 segments include:

  • Where does money come from?
  • Money has to be earned before you can save, spend or donate it
  • Opportunities through entrepreneurship; how to manage your allowance efficiently
  • The importance of saving and learning to save for short- and long-term goals
  • The difference between 'needs' and 'wants': instant and delayed gratification
  • Sharing and donating a portion of one's money and time is the right and responsible thing to do

The TV segments extend online to a fully interactive website that features applications, playback of the episodes and a game which allow children to make money management decisions and understand the impact of their choices. A dedicated section for parents on the site will provide activities based on each episode to further consolidate learning. All of the programme elements combined will help children form good habits that lead to responsible money management decisions now and into the future.

For more information, please visit www.cha-ching.asia.

1 Conducted by Oracle Added Value, June 2011

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