Prudential: Tricking People into Saving for Their Retirement

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There are many effective ways to invest for retirement. The methods are well documented and I won’t insult your intelligence (and ability to simply Google them yourself) by enumerating them here. But it’s clear that despite the ease of accessing these techniques, most people don’t seek out or apply them. Prudential is trying to change that. But first, they want to cast some light on why this is.

In one of their entertaining ads on the subject, Prudential employs a magician to prove a point. Rallying together strangers on the street, the magician performs some early warm up illusions, getting the crowd on his side. Then he asks for a twenty dollar bill, and someone in the audience obliges him. He then hands the volunteer a sliced lemon, telling her to hold the two halves together, and promising that the bill will appear between them at the count of ten.

While the audience counts, the magician flees the scene and vanishes into a taxi on the side of the street. The audience is left, disappointed and betrayed. The ad reminds us that losing money is very similar to the experience of physical pain, as similar regions of the brain are stimulated at both experiences. This, the ad says, is why people don’t like saving money for retirement. It feels like loss.

But then the video reminds us that finding money feels really good. Here comes our tricky magician again, slipping hundred dollar bills into the pockets of unsuspecting “victims”. These people experience the joy of finding cash, and this, the ad would have us believe, is what it’s like to find all the money that you’ve been saving all your life at retirement. It’s a wonderful thing, and we should all save and invest lots of money for retirement using Prudential’s services.

Check out the rest of videos in this series for more tips!