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Jan 9, 2019
Nearly 1 in 3 Americans think “Bigfoot” being real is more likely than retiring comfortably; AARP and the Ad Council help them get on track with new PSAs, resources

En español | Washington DC, January 9, 2019 – Nearly 1 in 3 people approaching retirement age (28%) think they’re more likely to learn Bigfoot is real than to save enough to retire comfortably, according to a recent survey from AARP and the Ad Council.* To empower more Americans to take steps to get on track with their savings, AARP and the Ad Council today announced new public service advertisements (PSAs) and resources on

7 in 10 Americans (68%) approaching retirement have less than a year’s income saved for retirement, according to the National Institute on Retirement Security.** The new PSAs make saving for retirement less intimidating by evoking the nostalgic and playful tone of children’s educational TV shows from the 1970s and ‘80s.

“Knowing how to save for retirement is as fundamental as learning your ABCs,” said Lisa Sherman, President and CEO, the Ad Council. “By bringing creativity and humor to an issue that often seems daunting, we hope to inspire more people to take charge of their financial futures.”

The PSAs introduce viewers to “Avo℠,” the digital retirement coach from By offering a first-of-its-kind interactive chat experience, the site is designed to inspire confidence and action.

“We know that the prospect of starting a retirement savings plan can be confusing and cause anxiety for some people,” said Debra Whitman, Executive Vice President and Chief Public Policy Officer at AARP. “That’s why this campaign, its public service announcements and the website have been so effective. They help people by breaking down retirement savings into simple steps that are easy to follow.”

The national PSA campaign was created pro bono by media and creative agency OMD Create, leveraging their new model of planning media strategy and developing creative work in tandem. The PSAs will appear in donated media nationwide in TV, digital, out of home, radio, print, and social-optimized video formats. The music for the TV and radio spots was composed by Gary William Friedman, music director of “The Electric Company.”

“Translating the style of nostalgic educational programs into content and formats for today’s social and digital platforms was easily one of the most inspiring challenges we tackled in 2018,” said Kerry Perse, Managing Director, OMD Create. “We are thrilled with the output and grateful for our collaboration with the Ad Council and AARP.”

AARP and the Ad Council’s “Saving for Retirement” campaign launched in July 2017 and the national PSAs have since received over $37.5 million in donated media support. Hundreds of thousands of people have chatted with Avo on, resulting in more than 189,000 personalized retirement savings action plans.


*Data source:
AARP/Ad Council survey (2018). The study was conducted online by Ipsos Public Affairs using a sample from its KnowledgePanel®, a probability-based web panel designed to be representative of the US general population, not just the online population. The study consisted of 1,611 interviews conducted between 11/28/18 – 12/5/18 among adults aged 40-59, with a household income of $40k-$99k who are currently employed/not retired. The margin of error is ±3.29 percentage points.

**Data source:


AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

The Ad Council

The Ad Council brings together the most creative minds in advertising and media to address the most worthy causes. Its innovative, pro bono social good campaigns raise awareness. They inspire action. They save lives. To learn more, visit, follow the Ad Council’s communities on Facebook and Twitter, and view the creative on YouTube.

OMD Create

OMD USA, an Omnicom Media Group agency, is part of OMD Worldwide , a leading global media communications agency serving the world’s most well-known global and regional brands. With 10,000 professionals across 100 markets around the world,  OMD has been named Most Creative Media Agency by The Gunn Report for an unprecedented 11 consecutive times; and is currently ranked the world’s most effective media agency network in the Effie Effectiveness Index.

Omnicom Media Group is the media services division of Omnicom Group, Inc. (NYSE: OMC)

For further information: The Ad Council,Margaret Files,, 212-984-1953; AARP, Mark Bagley,, 202-434-2504; OMD Create, Isabelle Gauvry,, 212-590-7314