|A participant in Prudential's commercial adds her sticker.|
The final array of stickers is on the right.
The visual effect is spectacular because the blue dots organically pile up into a mountain well to the right of a reference line showing the retirement age of 65. Prudential prudently realized that the public cannot be expected to show sustained interest in static graphs or percentages (even when rendered in arresting, moving colors and fonts) attempting to communicate details of life expectancy and the cost of retirement. In a refreshing move, they harnessed the wisdom of the crowds to create a compelling visual for them.
|Fitting a bell curve to the histogram of blue stickers|
|Age distribution data and its mathematical model|
|A random group of virtual people. Those aged 65 and older are colored orange.|
|Virtual blue stickers generated by running a simulation of Prudential's experiment.|
The histogram and the bell curve fit closely follow the result from the live experiment.