The thing is with pension adverts is that they’re a bit like buses. We have none for ages and then two come along at once. Two lovely adverts from the DWP setting out why we should save for retirement, featuring business figureheads including the amazing Karren Brady and adorning our buses and tube network.
Having seen pictures of these ingenious feats of marketing on the internet I was genuinely excited to see one for real and set out today on a mission to spy my first “real” one and get a little picture next to it for my website (pensions is my job remember before you comment).
So off I went, in search of this glorious item of PR which promised to change our future for ever. This glorious, lush image which would capture us all and encourage us to put our hard earned cash into a pension. Just like the CK One advert, but even better.
At Victoria tube station I saw it. “You pay in, your boss pays in” screamed out to me as I got off the tube. Except that it didn’t scream at me. I almost missed it. I only actually noticed it at all because the carriage I was in opened directly opposite it and I knew what it was. I would bet my next month’s pinot grig budget that everyone else getting off the tube with me totally missed it.
The problem, you see, is that it’s beige. It may even be brown. And it’s not that sexy. Which is an issue.
As a nation we have had a bit of an issue with pensions and I’m sorry, DWP, but I don’t think your very well intentioned advert is helping. You see pensions involves giving things up now, to gain later. It’s a bit like going on a diet, drinking less and exercising more to make things better later.
When you sacrifice something now for later it can feel a bit beige (believe me, I know) but the focus should be on results. It should be on the wins, the benefits, the fun and the colour. In pension terms this is about having a great time later in life, going on holiday, taking the grandkids out for the day and, even, keeping the heating on.
So saving for a pension is not beige. It’s sunny, yellow, blue and golden like the other pictures I saw at Victoria station, like of Puglia in Italy. Having a pension is glamorous and having a pension is sexy.
So, DWP, next time can we have some proper glamour please. We like Karren alot, but NO BEIGE.