Retirement Marketing Ad Council

AARP and the Ad Council campaign helps people get on track for retirement


By Kyle O'Brien, Creative Works Editor

January 9, 2019 | 3 min read

Nearly one in three people approaching retirement age (28%) think they’re more likely to learn Bigfoot is real than to save enough to retire comfortably, according to a recent survey from AARP and the Ad Council. To empower more Americans to take steps to get on track with their savings, AARP and the Ad Council introduced new public service advertisements (PSAs) and resources on

AVO video from AARP and Ad Council

AVO video from AARP and the Ad Council

According to the National Institute on Retirement Security, seven in 10 Americans (68%) approaching retirement have less than a year’s income saved for retirement. The new PSAs make saving for retirement less intimidating by evoking the nostalgic and playful tone of children’s educational TV shows from the 1970s and 1980s.

The national campaign was created pro bono by media and creative agency OMD Create, leveraging their new model of planning media strategy and developing creative work in tandem. The PSAs will appear in donated media nationwide in TV, digital, out of home, radio, print, and social-optimized video formats. The music for the TV and radio spots was composed by Gary William Friedman, music director of longtime kids show, The Electric Company.

“Translating the style of nostalgic educational programs into content and formats for today’s social and digital platforms was easily one of the most inspiring challenges we tackled in 2018,” said Kerry Perse, managing director, OMD Create.

“Knowing how to save for retirement is as fundamental as learning your ABCs,” said Lisa Sherman, president and chief executive, the Ad Council. “By bringing creativity and humor to an issue that often seems daunting, we hope to inspire more people to take charge of their financial futures.”

The PSAs introduce viewers to ‘Avo,’ the digital retirement coach from By offering a first-of-its-kind interactive chat experience, the site is designed to inspire confidence and action.

“We know that the prospect of starting a retirement savings plan can be confusing and cause anxiety for some people,” said Debra Whitman, executive vice president and chief public policy officer at AARP. “That’s why this campaign, its public service announcements and the website have been so effective. They help people by breaking down retirement savings into simple steps that are easy to follow.”

AARP and the Ad Council’s ‘Saving for Retirement’ campaign launched in July 2017 and the national PSAs have since received over $37.5 million in donated media support. Hundreds of thousands of people have chatted with Avo on, resulting in more than 189,000 personalized retirement savings action plans.

Ad Council and AARP: The Avo Show by OMD

By Ad Council and AARP

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