Empower Retirement employs bears, space aliens and wannabe rock stars to help millennials invest for the future

Empower Retirement employs bears, space aliens and wannabe rock stars to help millennials invest for the future


Retirement provider slays irrational excuse-making and ridiculous thinking in new social media campaign

Are cat blogging, treasure hunting and rock-n-roll dreams hurting Americans’ financial security?

Empower Retirement is launching a new effort aimed at connecting with younger Americans and encouraging them to fund their future lives.

The nation’s second largest retirement provider is employing a new social media video campaign to provide millennial retirement savers (those born during the 1980s and early 1990s) with an entertaining impetus to start saving for retirement if they haven’t done so – or to increase their retirement savings wherever possible.

The new awareness campaign tackles two false retirement planning narratives with new approaches. In a series of live action videos, Empower takes on some truly quirky, bad and perhaps not-so-serious retirement planning ideas. They include hoping to discover oil in one’s backyard, getting rich through a viral cat video or becoming a famous rock star.

second set of videos uses animation to challenge the mindset that saving for retirement can be delayed because potential life events would make it unnecessary to do so. These include being devoured by a bear, abducted by aliens or marrying a rich and famous super model.

“It’s tough to think about planning for retirement when you’re young. Many things can happen between now and that distant future,” said Stephen Jenks, chief marketing officer for Empower Retirement. “We decided to directly take on this mindset with these fun scenarios that highlight some of the questionable reasons millennials might give to explain why they’ve put off saving for retirement.”

“The light-hearted approaches to these topics are a way of appealing to an important audience in a fresh way that is consistent with how they take in information,” said Jenks.

The new videos are part of the “Now Is a Good Time” campaign, a more serious outreach by Empower to raise awareness for the importance of saving ‘now’ for retirement. In this effort to reach millennials, Empower is targeting working Americans age 18 to 34, who are developing broader and more sophisticated financial portfolios. For example, 2016 was the third straight year that the largest group of home buyers were millennials, totaling 35% of all buyers1. At the same time, traditional channels for seeking information have shifted:

  • Five out of six millennials in the US connect with companies on social media networks
  • 59 percent of millennials use social media to find information
  • 85 percent of millennials use social media to research products and services for their jobs/companies2

“Millennials are starting to get serious about their financial lives and we believe this is a good way to raise the visibility of retirement planning with them,” said Jenks. “Millenials are now the largest generation in the workforce and the largest part of Empower’s workforce as well. They are a force to be reckoned with.”

The videos will be rolled out through the company’s social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. Empower will also use the videos in education campaigns for clients, many of whom have indicated that millennial employees are more difficult to engage when it comes to the importance of investing for the future.

“It’s important to understand that the principles of investing for the future remain consistent. What changes is how we communicate and connect with ever-changing audiences,” said Jenks.

About Empower Retirement:

Headquartered in metro Denver, Empower Retirement administers $450 billion in assets for more than 8 million participants. It is the nation’s second-largest retirement plan recordkeeper by total participants (Pensions & Investments, April 2016). Empower serves all segments of the employer-sponsored retirement plan market: government 457 plans, small, midsize, and large corporate 401(k) clients, non-profit 403(b) entities and private-label recordkeeping clients. For more information, please visit www.Empower-Retirement.com.

Media Contact:

Stephen Gawlik – 303-737-0899 (office), 617-417-4408 (cell)

Learn More

To learn more about how we’re empowering plan sponsors and their participants to be more engaged in their retirement plans than ever before, call us at 800-719-9914.

1. Source: National Association of Relators, 03.09.2016 https://www.nar.realtor/news-releases/2016/03/nar-generational-survey-millennials-increasingly-buying-in-suburban-areas

2. Sacunas The Art of B2B, 2016: http://www.sacunas.net/lib/pdf/Millennial-B2B-Report_Sacunas-web.pdf