12 September 2021

“Where’s the beef?”

An excellent, down-to-earth interview with Dr. Ken Dychtwald from last year:

Ken  24 September 2020
Growing Bolder & Ken Dychtwald

He recently penned a piece for AARP Bulletin:

Ageism Is Alive and Well in Advertising
Consumers 50+ perceive a marketing bias against them

This is a worthy topic, as is ageism in general. Dr. Dychtwald is someone I’ve admired for years. I met him eons ago and attended one of his presentations.

I agree with most of what Ken has to say about the ad biz. I’ve been agreeing with it for about eighteen years now.  In 2003 I wrote this:

Back into the Fold
The Giant Leap: there had better be a minor revolution in the creative end of the advertising industry. Talented men and women in their late forties and fifties need to be brought back into the fold if you want to reach us. This includes copywriters, graphic artists, producers, directors, and creative directors.

coveradvbb[3]And in 2005 I wrote a book about it: Advertising to Baby Boomers. It was selected as a classroom resource by The Advertising Educational Foundation.

I write at length about ageism in the book and on this blog. If you want more ‘history’ about it all, download the Introduction and 1st Chapter of the book (Chapter One is all about ageism):

Advertising to Baby Boomers (PDF)

However, there are instances of overzealousness in the anti-ageism movement. The AARP Bulletin article cites a 1980s Wendy’s ad campaign, declaring it “blatant ageist advertising.”  Nonsense. If anything, it celebrates the perspicacity and bluntness of old age:

The character portrayed by Clara Peller is a truth-teller. Think The Emperor’s New Clothes, Shakespeare’s Fool in King Lear. The comic foils marked for derision are the (McDonald’s/Burger King) hamburger patty and bun – certainly not the ladies.

Circling back, the article begins with comments about a Christmas spot for DocMorris. It’s a good one. Across the pond they take pride in Christmas adverts. Here’s one from France I love:

But according to the overzealous, I must be wrong. It ticks all the ageist boxes: The father (later, grandfather) is quite a dunderhead and sickeningly immature. He makes a public spectacle of himself and embarrasses his young-adult son. This spot is blatantly ageist.

I think not.

19 August 2021

Models! Old Models! Old Beautiful Models!

Yours Truly doesn’t need much coaxing to blog about beautiful models. I’ve been doing it for years and years:

21 FEBRUARY 2007
Dove Pro-Age Campaign
… Baby Boom women are the real age revolutionaries. Many are feeling very empowered, very alive, and ready to take on the world. While they could do without some of the wrinkles and some of the aches, ask most women over forty if they would like to live their twenties and thirties all over again, and they'll say, "No thanks. I'm happier and more productive now than I have ever been."

A partial list of related posts:

17 JUNE 2005
Rubbing yourself and smiling.

01 SEPTEMBER 2007
Bottled Blondes and Man-Made Brunettes

02 JULY 2008
Demand for older models grows   

21 FEBRUARY 2018
Women

25 APRIL 2018
Women Redux

Recent articles from Newsday, Newsweek, People…

Older Models Aren't a Passing Fashion, They Make Sense Financially and Socially
by Cat Woods   
JudithA… "I'm the oldest model they [the modelling agency] have, but I really hope they don't stop this trend. I did a nude shoot for Vogue Singapore in December 2020, which came out in February. It was a brutal moment for me, but since I've been receiving comments from around the world. I went from 75 followers to 1,400 overnight when it was published," Warren said…

Judith Ann Warren Went From Arizona Choirgirl to LA Punk Singer to Mature Vogue Model

If you’re interested in breaking into the mature-model biz, some good advice:

model1Modeling matures as marketers court baby-boomer spending
“My son is proud that I returned to modeling,” said La Veda Davis, who in her 20s and 30s stomped the catwalk in Miami, appeared in commercial spots for Isotoner gloves and had a role in “Miami Vice.”

Older than a Baby Boomer, older than a member of The Silent Generation – and modeling:

grandma99-Year-Old Great-Grandmother Becomes Fan-Favorite Model for Makeup Brand
Helene Simon tells PEOPLE that being the new face of her granddaughter Laney Crowell's beauty brand, Saie, has "put a little pizzazz in my life"

Hoity-toity in England:

hoitySilver & Sassy Fashion Show
Silver haired models Rachel Peru and Annie Stirk have joined forces to make this a positive celebration of women with Silver, Grey and White hair at our beautiful 16th century hall.

The Good News: No noticeable photoshopping going on in all these pics, ads. Not the case a decade ago when Olay got slammed…

05 January 2010
Twiggy & Me
The '60s fashion star appeared virtually wrinkle-free in the ads and, since her baby-faced visage was selling anti-aging cream to older women, quite a few people—including bloggers, news outlets, and the British Parliament—grew quite disturbed.

07 June 2021

More Housing No News News

Forbes has a brand-new article about housing us old seasoned folk:

Hey Senior Living Pros: Boomers Don’t Want Your Old, Tired Communities

Getty

I especially like the Getty photo the editor picked for the piece. Yours truly and everybody else I know who’s around my age dress and act exactly like this guy (except I usually use five straws when drinking out of a glass – not just two).

Opening paragraph of the article:

The Senior living industry needs to wake up and understand that Baby Boomers just don’t want what their parents and grandparents were offered. No matter how fancy the furniture, how many lakes and golf courses they install on the property, and how large the gym and swimming pool are, baby boomers want an entirely different experience.

I’ll agree with that. In fact, I agreed with it over fifteen years ago. From my book Advertising to Baby Boomers © 2005/2007:

coverPast generations tended to get excited about modern conveniences that would make their lives easier. They'd walk into a planned housing unit and exclaim, "Look! It's got this and this and this and this!" The more features, the better. The more 'planned,' the better. It was time to start a new life. Time to be rewarded for all the hard work, and relax.

Not so with Baby Boomers. We take most modern conveniences for granted. And we don't want to start new lives, but continue the lives we already have.
Baby Boomers will be anticipating a seamless transition. Instead of "Look! It has this and this and this," we'll be sniffing around for friendly, useful spaces. You'll want us to say, "Look! There's a perfect place for my pottery wheel," or "There are plenty of windows and sunlight. My house plants and indoor herb garden will do fine in here," or "Good. I
  can put up big, deep shelves for my books and CDs," or "Here's the perfect room for our side business on Ebay," or "Here's a place where I can soundproof a recording studio or  entertainment center," or "This oversized back door is great because I can roll my bicycle in and out without squeezing and jerking it around - and the extra-wide hallway means there's plenty of room so I can just lean it against the wall and we won't bang into it every time we walk past it."

These will be the selling points. Less is more.

From the Forbes article:

forbes… Communities of people with similar interests and backgrounds will hold greater allure than fancy amenities … How about communities for aging writers and journalists? How about a community for lifelong athletes? What about a community for those who spent their lives in medicine or science or those who want to make and show their art? What about a community of builders and woodworkers?

I’ll agree with that. In fact, I agreed with it over fifteen years ago. From my book Advertising to Baby Boomers © 2005/2007:

Some sociology experts predict that semi-retirement and retirement communities will naturally develop personalities based on shared interests. These could be gardening, motorcycles, vegetarianism, the arts, sports-related activities — even a community where shared interest might be financial speculation.

A PDF culled from the book:

Selling Universal Design To Baby Boomers/Aging In Place

And a (fairly) recent post about housing, retirement communities, etc.:

04 February 2020
Communities for Boomers
The elder-centric housing industry is about to explode every which way …

20 May 2021

Busting The Myth-Busters

I’m on the list. About two-dozen show up every week. Sometimes more.

That doesn’t make me special by any standards. Press Releases are like virtual confetti nowadays.

Most are daft, pointless blather. While the salutation “Hi Chuck” makes it appear as if the sender has some clue about my blog, it’s usually a tip-off that he/she has never read any of my posts.

Here’s the latest:

Hi Chuck,
I hope you are keeping well, I'll keep this brief and to the point as I know you are busy - we have a client with a press release you may be interested in reviewing. Below is the skinny - we invite you to check out the full release if you are interested…

The gist:

New Research Busts the Myth of the Tech-Challenged Senior'
A new landmark study by marketing consultancy, *** ** *******, is about to shatter a number of myths and have more companies and brands taking notice of the huge opportunity to reach consumers 55+ via digital devices, across multiple aspects of the lives.

Let me shatter the myth that any of this is even remotely myth-shattering…

From my book Advertising to Baby Boomers published in 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.”

A blog post:

14 November 2005
My Favorite Cyber-Myth 
How I snicker and roll my eyes whenever I read about Baby Boomers fumbling around on computers, scratching their heads, totally flummoxed. Sure, a percentage of any age group is technologically challenged - but Boomers as a whole have embraced the internet and aren't afraid to plunge into the ether brain first.

There are dozens and dozens more posts through the years about 50+ folk and technology – but I’ll spare you.

The ‘landmark’ myth-busting report is all about how over the last year or so tons more people over fifty-five are now banking online and buying stuff online.

Wow. I never would’ve guessed.

04 March 2021

Why is advertising so unpopular?

Bob Hoffman tipped me off in a tweet:

No kidding. Not that advertising in the past has always been  welcomed.  Culled from some surveys:

Oh! I forgot to add the dates of these surveys:

More from Why is advertising so unpopular?:

…Online advertising has contributed to this enormously, with the interruptions to people’s browsing experience by pop-ups, the creepiness of much retargeting and the sheer annoyance of autoplay videos often listed as the main offenders. There seems to be no escaping the persistent noise of advertising…

All this sounds eerily familiar. A post from 2010:

Foretellings
…The more people use smartphones, the less they’ll tolerate silly graphical doodads mucking up their small  screens … Advertising on smartphones will be considered an annoyance, invasive, and rather dinky…

And 2012:

Digital Distractions
Advertisers are getting wise to the drawbacks of marketing in the digital nest … Digital interruptions are headache-inducing…

Bouncing back to Mr. Feldwick’s piece:

… Advertising as an industry regards itself as ‘of the moment’ yet, as with anything else, there is much to learn from the past. As Paul says, ‘If we don’t understand the past, we have no hope of making sense of the future.’ There is a great deal to learn from the history of advertising that has a tremendous relevance today…

Sounds about right to me. I’ve been ‘teaching’ a course on Udemy about creative advertising – dipping into the past for inspiration. The course is also on YouTube:



So kudos to Paul Feldwick. We're similar-minded fellows floating in the ether.