Friday, October 17, 2014

What Are We Going To Do About The Other Generation?

 How will we ever communicate without communication?
 -The Other Generation from Flower Drum Song

In this month's issue of AARP Bulletin there is an article, Selling Us Short, about how advertising is ignoring, to their detriment, people over 50 in order to focus on the 18 to 34 demographic.

"The 50-plus market that many advertisers ignore or insult is not big: It is enormous.  According to a Nielsen study, by 2017 boomers will control 70 percent of the country's disposable income.  From 2007 to 2010- tough economic times- retirees were on of the few demographic groups to experience stable or rising incomes. Nearly 60 percent of homeowners over 65 are not weighed down by mortgages, compared with just 11 percent of 34- to 44-year-olds. And boomers account for 80 percent of America's luxury travel spending."

The reason why advertisers ignore such a large market?  Ageism and advertising myth.  Ageism is present in an Esuance commercial which shows an older woman who confuses facebook's  wall with her own living room wall.

"Though 28 million people over 55 already subscribe to Facebook  and boomers buy twice as much online as younger adults, according to Forrester Research, cranky, befuddled Beatrice can't fathom social media."
One advertising myth is Brand Loyalty. 

"Ken Dychtwald, CEO of the consulting firm Age Wave, believes many marketers live in the past. Lifetime brand loyalty 'was once a reality, but now it's just a myth, ' he says. Previous generations often selected a brand between the ages of 15 and 25 and never switched. That became the target age for advertisers."

That is no longer true.  Brent Bouchez of Bouchez Page calls boomers "brand-promiscuous."  And a survey done in 2014 showed that most millennial were the same way.

The other advertising myth is that older people are cheap and will not part with their money but the Nielsen study disproved this, "Boomers make the most money and spend what they make."

It will be interesting to see if advertising moves away from its worship of youth before or after 2017 when older people will be too large a market to ignore any longer.


Blue Witch said...

That's just not true in the UK. Sadly advertisers here do very much target older people. Unfortunatly...

la peregrina said...

With our youth obsessed society older people are pretty much invisible here.