18 November 2014

The No New News News

It’s always a treat to get up, make some coffee, open the newspaper (pixels or pulp) and read nothing new.

Even that shticky opening sentence is nothing new.

Ignore Boomers at your peril
image… The 50+ market is tremendous, controlling roughly 70 percent of the nation’s disposable income. We account for 80 percent of luxury travel marketing, buy five times as many new cars as 18-to-34-year-olds, and represent 40 percent of the population.

Pull quote from my book ©2005:

“It will be the Baby Boomers who will be the first to pick and choose, to ignore or be seduced by leading-edge technology marketing. There’s a simple reason for this. We have the money to buy this stuff. Experts say we’ll continue to have the money for at least the next twenty years. Write us off at your own peril.”

That’s a long time to be periled.

Baby Boomers say they aren't moving out of their homes
By Les Christie  @CNNMoney
… In a survey of 4,000 Baby Boomer households conducted by the non-profit Demand Institute, 63% of Boomers plan to stay in their current home once they retire.

Sounds vaguely familiar:

Selling Universal Design/Aging In Place ©2005/2007 (PDF):
… My NAHB presentation had a large section dedicated to the problem‘ of aging in place. It‘s a problem, of course, for AACs. How do you convince Baby Boomers to consider your offerings – whether your community is across the country or across town?

hshThe first slide in the aging in place section was titled Let‘s talk about your competition.  I tossed up logos from Del Webb, Robson, Meritage, and a few others – along with one of a real estate salesman outside a house with a for sale sign. I shook my head. “These are not your competitors,” I said, “This is.”

A new slide popped up that read Home Sweet Home. Many in the audience nodded.

They’re still nodding.

Universities Cater to a New Demographic: Boomers
hbr… As millions of Boomers move into a stage that has no name, no clear role in society, yet vast possibilities, there is an urgent need for democratized versions of such programs—offered at a cost within reach of the bulk of the population and widely available through continuing education programs or even community colleges around the country.

From 2005:

Baby Boomers, Adult Communities, and Education
Campus Continuum focuses solely on developing, marketing, and operating university-branded 55+ Active Adult Communities that are tightly integrated with their academic hosts.

AARP has produced a supplement for HR Magazine all about hiring experienced workers (or not letting them go):

HR and the Aging Workforce

aarphr

Good stuff, but yours truly and others have been screaming about this for over a decade.  Take a look at one or two of these:

Human Resources/Brain Power

"No, I don't think a 68-year-old copywriter can write with the kids. That he's as creative. That he's as fresh. But he may be a better surgeon. His ad may not be quite as fresh and glowing as the Madison Ave. fraternity would like to see it be, and yet he might write an ad that will produce five times the sales. And that's the name of the game, isn't it?" - Rosser Reeves


Just for fun:

Never Leave The Hospital! Health Tech Wearables, Implanted Chips
huffington_post_logo1I'm having issues. I'm worried that the medical industry might want me to worry too much about my health. A little worry is good. But constant worry? It seems as if they want me to think of nothing else but my vital signs for the rest of my life.

Finally Live The Life You've Always Wanted With Wearables!
Along with Google Glasses, you'll also be wearing Google Nose and Google Mouth.

17 October 2014

JC Penney: The Store For Everyone

Brick & Mortar and catalogue of yore now online retailer JC Penney is grooming a new CEO:

J.C. Penney Seeks Home Depot Treatment Under Ellison
imageMarvin Ellison helped turn around Home Depot Inc. (HD) in the last decade. Now he’ll try to repeat that feat at J.C. Penney Co. (JCP)

The department-store chain, struggling to emerge from $3 billion in losses in the past 3 1/2 years, yesterday named Ellison its next president and chief executive officer.

The simplest of through lines, with much missing:

jcp1965The history of J.C. Penney goes back over 100 years.  In the 1960s Penney began to position itself as a middle America alternative to department stores (Macy’s, scores of others).  On the other end, it was more fashion-conscious than stodgy, dependable Sears. 

Then Target (also with a long though disjointed history) positioned itself as a hipper version of J.C. Penney. Other retailers followed. Now, Penney is perceived as almost as stodgy and behind-the-times as Sears was.

Time for a shakeup.

Mr. Ellison is given credit for helping to turn around Home Depot.  One of the reasons I like HD: age diversity.  I don’t go looking for some old person to help me, but they’re there.  And I know they have some idea of what I might have to go through utilizing a product, installing whatever– so they steer me in the right direction and give good advice.  If you’re a young’un, and you want to talk to a young’un – they’re there, too.

Somewhere in the above paragraph might be a clue for turning around J.C. Penney.

What about advertising?  Penney might study the age-neutral campaigns of Marks & Spencer:

05 October 2007
London & Marks & Spencer
…What fascinated me was walking into the store with my more-significant-than-I-am other and watching her riffle through the racks. She turned this way and that, being drawn to items for herself, her teenage daughter, and her twenty-something daughter. It was obvious that all three could shop together practically in the same spot.







There are plenty more – all the way up to today.  Search YouTube. 

And there’s this:

Marks & Spencer named as best retail brand at representing baby boomers, poll shows

JC Penney could (and should) be the store for everyone.

30 September 2014

Social Media: A Sliver Of The Bigger Picture

Jonathan Salem Baskin for Forbes reports from Social Media Week:

Jonathan Salem BaskinYou Attended Social Media Week And Didn't Even Know It

Or maybe he wasn’t there. I’m not sure. Actually, it would be better if he hadn’t attended – because that’s Mr. Baskin’s point:

Though you may not have participated in an official event during Social Media Week (which ends today), you attended it…every day, in fact, which is the problem with the gig in particular, and our understanding of social media generally.

So being there isn’t being there. 

All of this makes perfect sense of you’re a social media guru.  Here’s one who ‘gets’ it:

Where people already aren’t.

mhMore from Jonathan Baskin:

…. the event’s slogan, “Reimagining Human Connectivity,” is kinda like announcing you’re going to reimagine gravity.

My take:

25 September 2012
Twitter & Advertising
… The mobile/social media soothsayers will have you believe that there is this unknown, magical mode of persuasion that has never been thought of before – and will reveal itself any day now.

If you believe that, I have a Blackberry in Brooklyn I want to sell you.

Even more from Jonathan Salem Baskin:

… Social media are a subset of media overall, which are a subset of the mediated experiences that are a subset of experiences generally. They’re a sliver of the bigger picture.

See you at the next Social Media Week event!  (I won’t be there.)


Just for fun:

Want To Check Out Fast? Get Behind Me.
huffington_post_logo1Old chum Dick Stroud is annoyed by old people in cashier queues: "Why do young people swap checkout lines when they see an older person in front of them? Well I have to be honest, so do I…”

11 September 2014

A Simpler Tablet?

AARP is touting a simple-to-use tablet:

AARP ANNOUNCES REALPAD
aarp-realtab-tablet-pc-android-seniors-senior-citizen… the nation’s largest advocate for 76 million baby boomers, today announced RealPad, a first of its kind tablet device built to address the specific needs of 70 million Americans 50+ who are yet to fully embrace tablet technology to help them stay connected.

I’m not sure there are 70 million people over fifty who are tech-shy – but there are a lot.

A moldy post:

23 October 2012
The Future Of Consumer Doodad Technology
… You should stop thinking about the next big thingamabob and whose will be best.  In five or ten years there will be all sorts of thingamabobs for just about everything.  You’ll have two or three or ten thingamabobs.  Tablets/Smartphones will be big, small, thin, simple, complex, active, passive, out the door in your purse or pocket, lost in your couch cushions.

So there may be a bit of room for AARP’s offering. 

The problem for me is the idea of a simplified tablet.  Tablets are already simple compared to smartphones, laptops, desktops.  

I use Windows, have a Windows phone. I’ve fiddled with Android and iPhones.  It took me awhile to grasp the software, hierarchies. 

But I’ve also fiddled with iPads and Android-based tablets. They’re a cinch to use.  Just pick one up and start poking and swiping.  No real learning curve.

We have an Android tablet. I can’t imagine anything simpler. I have a tougher time figuring out the garage door opener.

Check out the accessories page. All simple procedures for implementing extras/apps are pretty much the same as on standard tablets. Nothing special here. And if you know what memory, microUSB 2.0 ports, microSD drives and Bluetooth are – then you can’t be a complete tech idiot.  If you were a complete tech idiot, then this page would be gobbledygook, and probably scare the hell out of you.

No doubt RealPad is a good product. The specs look fine. The price is fine. I worry about what it doesn’t have that apparently makes it a simpler tablet.  I honestly can’t figure it out. If there are things missing, they’d better tell me.

Tablets are getting cheaper.  One major manufacturer will soon be offering a full-fledged Windows tablet for $120.00 – with almost the same specs as RealPad. 

Which would you buy?  Which would you recommend to someone who is tech-shy?

Perhaps RealPad should reposition as a very good inexpensive tablet with an easy-on-the-eyes interface (implied: for older eyes).  Not as a dumbed-down product for grizzled tech neophytes.


Dick Stroud’s musings on the subject (not much different than mine, in fact he may have a solid case for plagiarism):

Tablets for oldies - Breezie and now RealPad - all doomed to failure?



huffington_post_logo1Just for fun:
An Idle Mind Is the Devil's Playground
Here's a novel concept: Doing nothing is as productive, maybe more productive, as doing something.

18 August 2014

Those Advertising Surveys

In my ethereal quest for the best info on advertising and baby boomers (outside of this blog, of course), I often stumble upon surveys.

Everybody loves surveys.  People answer questions (they’re usually  honored by a request for their judgments) – then experts analyze, dissect, collate, comment. Lots of fun.

There are two brand-new ones about the effectiveness of advertising.  One is all about people a bit older than baby boomers, the other a generalized Q&A.

imageGolly gee. According to these surveys, advertising is in its death throes.

For almost ten years, I’ve been speaking/presenting about advertising and baby boomers. Two slides used since the beginning:

image

Then, with the magic of PP custom animation, I reveal a bit of possibly relevant info – the dates of these answers to surveys:

[image[42].png]

Most of the above statistics are from The Mirror Makers by Stephen Fox:

image

It’s official. The last sixty-seven years of advertising has been ‘ineffectual’.