The idea that our personal decisions can directly impact what the future will look like is appealing, and there may even be some truth to it, as long as we think about these things in a big picture sense. (Your decision to drive a Prius doesn’t mean much, but all of the Prius drivers together save a fair bit of fuel.) It’s less likely that, say, whether or not you’re properly saving for retirement will directly impact the future of mankind. But what if…?
That’s the question at the heart of this fascinating and innovative ad from M&C Saatchi Stockholm, for Swedish pension management company SPP, which uses your entire desktop browser window to explore the different ways that the year 2045–when someone born in 1980 will be hitting retirement age–might look. The implication being: Save for the future and you’ve got a sunny old age of good food and leisure time to look forward to, make the wrong decisions and you can enjoy some serious smog and a bleak tomorrow.
It’s not that explicit, of course, and getting people to consider how the world might look when they’re of retirement age is useful, in any case. The website is built around a video with an interactive slider that moves horizontally across the screen–slide it to the right and you get the bright future of a world in which sustainability was mankind’s top priority, while sliding to the left shows the grim world in which pollution masks and pesticides are the order of the day. The slider works at any point in the video, so you can see what a picnic, a farm, a trip out of the city, or opening the fridge all look like in each version of the future at will. It’s a fascinating way to present a complicated idea–and even if your retirement choices are unlikely to directly affect the future, giving yourself some time to think about the fact that the world is going to be different in the future is probably a good idea.