Sustainable Company Awards 2022

Community involvement program of the year, Americas: Experian

Consumer credit rating agency Experian secured the community involvement programme of the year award for its financial literacy social media campaign with Grammy Award-winning rapper Lecrae.

The six-episode 'Protect the Bag' series on YouTube – which has received millions of views – breaks down the basics of financial health such as budgeting, planning for the future, managing debt, and protecting against identity theft.

"Financial health can transform people's lives," Experian said. "It's the key to fair credit that can open the door to life-changing opportunities – from having a home or building a business to paying for education and healthcare. This in turn drives social and economic development by helping to lift people out of poverty and improve quality of life."

Hosted by Lecrae, the series draws on interviews with an additional celebrity for each episode – including basketball player Michael Porter Jr, singer CoCo Jones, and rapper WHATUPRG.

The series was part of Experian's 'United for Financial Health' programme which engages underserved communities with financial education and help mitigate the challenges posed by financial exclusion and poor financial literacy.

Experian chief sustainability officer Abigail Lovell said the series was looking to reach out to young adults to help them understand how to strengthen their financial health. These are discussions that a lot of families do not have, and so are often new messages for young people.

Lovell said that, by using influencers, Experian has been able to use social media to deliver this critical message to younger people in the place where they want to get their information – for example, how to avoid getting into debt and develop a positive balance between spending and saving.

"These are all fundamentals of financial literacy, but it is very difficult to cut through [to young people on social media] with some of those messages. So we are using influencers to do that."