The DWP has launched a blue, cuddly, £8.45m mascot for workplace pensions

Meet “workie”. 

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A blue fluffy monster invaded the Department for Work and Pensions Twitter feed today. It stuck its head into its profile picture, and appeared in a series of toe-curling memes, including this one:

Far from a rejected character from Monsters, Inc., the monster is at the centre of a new advertising campaign to be launched by the DWP this evening. According to the campaign's press release, "Workie, a striking physical embodiment of the workplace pension" will "change the country’s perception of pensions in the workplace".

The first TV ad will be shown at 7:27pm this evening, between Emmerdale and Coronation Street. For those who just can't wait, it's already available on YouTube:

Pensions Minister Baroness Altman said the campaign, accompanied by the hashtag #DontForgetIt, hopes to raise awareness of workplace pensions, which by law must be introduced by all UK employers over the next three years:

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.

The "fun" campaign also came with a steep price tag: the DWP confirmed earlier today that it set the department back £8.45m. Luckily, savings from slashing Independent Living Fund alone would easily have covered the cost. 

Barbara Speed is comment editor at the i, and was technology and digital culture writer at the New Statesman, and a staff writer at CityMetric.