Meet ‘Workie’, the new face of workplace pensions

‘Workie’, an animated character in the DWP’s £8m TV advertising campaign to promote auto-enrolment, will appear for the first time on TV tonight.

Described by the DWP as ‘a striking physical embodiment of the workplace pension’, the Workie ad will first appear on ITV between Emmerdale and Coronation Street at 7.25pm.

Workie will be seen visiting people in all sorts of work environments over the coming months, asking them not to ignore him. The character also features on the DWP/TPR workplace pensions information site homepage.

Pensions Minister, Baroness Altmann says: “We have made great strides forward by automatically enrolling more than 5 million people into a workplace pension – now the challenge is to make sure hardworking people with every type of employer get to enjoy this major financial benefit. 

“This is a fun and quirky campaign but behind it lies a very serious message. We need everyone to know they are entitled to a workplace pension – and we need all employers to understand their legal responsibility to their staff, but also to feel more positive about engaging with workplace pensions.”

Broadstone technical director David Brooks says: “It is possible that something so odd actually makes people sit up and take notice, however I am sceptical that the coverage will be sufficient to make ‘Workie’ so recognisable that people get the message just from seeing him…her…. The strategy may be effective and it may work and I sincerely hope it does, but I would have preferred building on the groundwork created by “we’re all in”, an effective campaign which could be extended to cover the buy-in needed by employers. I fear the £8.5m price tag will be targeted if the strategy fails, when it could have been spent on a different approach involving more direct communications with employers, rather than hoping busy people running small businesses are paying attention to adverts between Emmerdale and Corrie.”