Did you know that when you leave the office, your computers talk about your 401(k) plan? Well, they do in the fanciful world featured in Prudential Retirement Services new "After Work" video.
It features computers as characters, led in their discussion by a head-master type, Head Monitor. The rest of the cast, played by hollowed out computers manipulated by puppeteers, includes Romeo and Juliet, who have hearts on their screens; Data, who does most of the computations; Disclaimer, who is self-explanatory; and Sparky, a retired computer who sits in a dark corner showing videos of fish on his screen ("a human did something bad to him with a screwdriver").
Using the computers' conversations and information shown on their screens, the video is an enrollment tool aimed at promoting 401(k) plan participation, said Kenneth Montgomery, president of retirement services.
So far, only four plan sponsors, with an aggregate of 350 participants, are using the video, he said. But it is available to all plan sponsors that have more than $1 million in plan assets and use Prudential as their service provider, he said.
Four companies were selected randomly by Prudential to test the video, including a furniture retailer and some service businesses, said Jennifer Putney, Prudential's director of communications and marketing. Mr. Montgomery said 86% of the participants said it gave them a better idea of the principles of investing, and 43% said they would increase their contributions after watching it.
The video also could be used for teaching junior high and high school students about the investing process, Mr. Montgomery said. "If you want to educate the world, go through academia, so when they come out, they will know what a 401(k) plan and compounding is," he said.