Nudging millennials towards thinking about retirement sparks humorous campaign

The nation’s second largest retirement plan record keeper, Empower Retirement, needed to get millennials to start thinking about retirement.

They sought out Boston-based Sleek Machine, who knew that speaking to a generation saddled with present and past financial obligations to plan for the distant future would be a challenge. Fortunately, during its first team meeting, a younger team member shrugged and said, “what’s the point in starting my 401K when I could step outside and get hit by a bus tomorrow?” -- and an idea was born.

The social media video campaign called “Now Is a Good Time” builds on the mindset of many millennials when it comes to setting up their 401Ks. The team decided that rather than focus on the rational reasons for starting a 401K, they decided to focus on the irrational reasons that keep young people from saving for retirement. One video includes a man digging for oil with a pick axe in his front yard, with the notion that he might strike oil, and that is his plan for retirement. Instead, he strikes a water line. Further, a video saying that many people say why save for retirement if aliens are going to take over the world, wraps with an alien saying "you have no idea what our plans are" while a bear says that it is not likely "you will be eaten by a bear" because the bear is a vegan.

While the content is distributed across Empower Retirement’s social presence, you can take a look at the effort here on the company’s website.


Client: Empower Retirement

Agency: Sleek Machine

Chief Creative Officer: Tim Cawley

Copywriter: Jeff Marois

Art Director: Alan Duda

Illustrator: Tom Lucas

Producer: Ben Ouellette

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