JWT’s AnxietyIndex is designed as a place to discuss how brands and consumers are responding to the global recession. With daily content updates, AnxietyIndex.com includes contributions from around JWT’s network, offering a truly global perspective.
America’s Boomers are facing a delayed retirement, in part because many long-term investments plummeted in value during the downturn. As The Wall Street Journal recently reported, a Conference Board study found that nearly two-thirds of Americans aged 45 to 60 are intending to put off retirement, up from 42 percent two years ago. Annuity.com taps into these financial-planning anxieties to sell this generation on fixed annuities.
In a commercial, the annuity check is represented by a safe, carried by a man clad in black suit and black shades. He follows the check’s recipients from supermarket to sauna to doctor’s office and beach—he’s always there. The voiceover explains the benefits of an annuity, assuring that “best of all, your money’s not at risk from the ups and downs of the stock market, and that means you won’t have to put off your retirement.”
Last year we wrote about how Prudential is targeting this cohort, by confronting head-on the hard realities they’re facing. Watch for more marketers to addresses the anxiety felt by most Americans when it comes to retirement.
In the wake of the recession, visions of retirement are no longer what they once were. Rather than dreaming of sailboats and vacation homes, Americans are simply dreaming of retiring at all. Given that fewer than a quarter of those with a retirement account say they feel financially secure and look forward to retirement, according to Mintel, it’s clear that there’s great uncertainty and insecurity around the issue of retirement. While many financial services companies have attempted to reassure insecure consumers by highlighting their strength and stability, a new campaign from Prudential goes a different route.
The “Bring Your Challenges” campaign confronts head-on the stark realities faced by most Americans when it comes to retirement and rallies consumers to bring Prudential these challenges rather than shying away from them. The print executions very frankly acknowledge the changing realities and needs of today’s retirees and illustrate how Prudential is there to help navigate this new landscape. Underscoring the reality theme, the “Day One” TV spots feature real-life Americans on their first day of retirement, and the “Day One” microsite lets consumers communicate with each other about retiring.
Prudential is attempting not only to redefine how consumers view retirement (as a start, rather than an end), but how they speak about it. The company also directly addresses the new normal of today’s economy, sending the message that it’s there to help apprehensive consumers adjust.