Prudential and Droga5 Want You to be Selfish This Holiday Season and Spend More on Yourself

Give the gift of 401(k) savings this year

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This year Prudential is asking people to scrounge up some extra cash around the holidays and donate it to a worthy cause: their future savings.  

Confronted with the statistics that 52 percent of families in the U.S. won't be able to support their pre-retirement lifestyle, and that 40 percent of millennials aren't putting any retirement money aside, Prudential created a plan to transform the seemingly mundane task of saving for retirement into a worthy cause. The campaign hopes to encourage everyone to donate an extra 1 percent of their annual salary to their savings. 

"We wanted a platform that would have breakthrough creative, but we really wanted a platform for engagement that we could capture and we could scale at a pretty large scale, and also an activation opportunity that we thought pretty much anyone can do," Colin McConnell, chief brand officer at Prudential, told Adweek.  

With agency partner Droga5, Prudential kicked off a Race for Retirement campaign with an idea that kind of started as a silly pun, according to Droga5 executive creative director Kevin Brady. "Rarely has an idea this big started off with a pun," Brady said. As charity runs and marathons have grown in popularity, especially among millennials, the team at Droga5 kicked around the idea of 4.01-kilometer race—a 4.01K race for your 401(k), essentially.

Five-thousand runners showed up in Washington, D.C., on a rainy morning in November, ready to run 2.5 miles and pledge to put more money into savings for the future. The brand captured footage from the race to use in two TV spots, both debuting this week. It also created a short cinema documentary, which will launch during the holiday season, focused on three runners and what inspired them to participate in the race and start saving more for retirement now.  

Those who couldn't make it out on race day can benefit from the brand's partnership with the MapMyFitness app to run and track their very own 4.10K race. In the first five days, over 40,000 people logged their miles into the app. The number is up to 71,652 as of Tuesday. Runners also had the opportunity to fill out the online 1 percent pledge to contribute an additional 1 percent of their annual salary to their retirement savings. So far, 26,533 people have made the pledge, which the site estimates could grow the total retirement savings to roughly $1.2 billion. 

"Treat it like it's an important cause," Brady said. "It's great to be generous, but every now and then, think about yourself." 


Client: Prudential

Campaign: Race for Retirement

Agency: Droga5 NY

Creative Chairman: David Droga

Chief Creative Officer: Ted Royer

Executive Creative Director: Kevin Brady

Senior Copywriter: Brian Eden, Nathan Archambault, Sara Shelton

Senior Art Director: Ben Grube, Andy Grant, Paul Meates

Executive Design Director: Rob Trostle

Design Director: Rich Greco

Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale

Head of Interactive Production: Niklas Lindstrom

Head of Production: Ben Davies

Executive Producer, Interactive: Laura Bruskin

Executive Producer, Broadcast: Scott Chinn

Senior Experiential Producer: Bo Djogo

Head of Print Services: Rob Lugo

Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer

Group Strategy Director: Aaron Wiggan

Senior Strategist: Ben Brown

Group Comms Strategy Director: Duncan Owen

Senior Comms Strategist: Elsa Stahura

Head of Account Management: Dan Gonda

Group Account Director: Lindsay Cole

Account Manager: Caroline Engram, Trevor Mundt

Head of Project Management: Katia Billings

Client: Prudential Financial, Inc.

Senior Vice President & Chief Brand Officer: Colin McConnell

VP, Brand Marketing & Advertising: Niharika Shah

VP, General Manager, Prudential Advertising: Alison Lazzaro

VP, Integrated Strategy: Amy d'Oliveira

Director, Client Services: Brett Tuller

VP, Integrated Media Services: Anna Papadopoulos

Experiential Production Companies: IMG/IMGL

Broadcast Production Company: Reset

Interactive Production Company: Use All Five

Editorial: Work Editorial

Post Production: The Mill

@ktjrichards Katie Richards is a staff writer for Adweek.