16 November 2015

The Déjà Vu No New 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.

For some reason, the last month or so has been jam-packed with no news news:

Older people have the spending power. So why are ads obsessed with youth?

CVRCompIf you want the answer nine years before this question was asked, download (for free) the Introduction and 1st Chapter of Advertising to Baby Boomers ©2005/2007:

Introduction and 1st Chapter

More from that Globe and Mail piece:

… The rationale for focusing on younger people used to be that advertisers who could win them over would gain a consumer for life. But research has shown that brand loyalty is fading, meaning this approach may not make sense any more.

Brand loyalty almost always fades, and hasn’t made sense for decades. Read a review of Advertising to Baby Boomers in The Journal of Consumer Marketing.

imageThe Average Age Of A Creative Is 28, While The Average New Car Buyer Is 56 - That's A Problem

It’s been a problem for years and years:

Hire Baby Boomer Creatives
NostraChuckus predicts the future. Again. It was 2003 when he first divined it…

Automobile ads written by … but targeting…:

Non-Diversity = Solipsism
… Someone commented on my comment:

You nailed it Chuck! My reaction (albeit with an agency skew) is that these spots are targeting BOOMERS, but written by 20-somethings? … Young creatives (are there really any other kind?) can't write to BOOMERS…so they write to please themselves. As a BOOMER many of us see right through this common occurrence.

Here’s a news story that is impossible to cherry-pick.  Every cherry has been plucked, packaged, and offered as sustenance by Yours Truly and others for over a decade:

Baby Boomers Are Noticing How You're (Not) Speaking to Them

I’ll snatch one piece of wrinkled fruit, just for fun:

…. One of the biggest reasons for this is marketers are beginning to close the book on this generation by relying on outdated stereotypes to inform decisions and craft messages that ultimately don’t hit the mark. It takes more than a Rolling Stones song on a 30 second TV commercial. Half of Baby Boomers (47%) told us in this same survey that companies are using inaccurate stereotypes in advertising about people their age.

A few moldy posts:

03 October 2005
Invoking "The Sixties": Fidelity Financial vs. Ameriprise

19 February 2007
Food fights, Balloons and Dancing Gorillas

19 December 2010
Why does the media think Boomers are smiling, vapid idiots?

And if you’re desperate to hear me bloviate about it all, check out highlights from a European Tour in 2007:

Recently I penned an Afterword for an international marketing/advertising tome due out in early 2016.
A pull:

I wasn’t the first to suggest a necessary shift away from the 18-35 demographic. In 1990, two books were released, Age Wave by Ken Dychtwald  and Serving the Ageless Market: Strategies for Selling to the Fifty-Plus Market by David B. Wolfe.  Many others followed, including The Definitive Guide to Mature Advertising and Marketing by Kevin Lavery  (U.K) and Marketing to Leading-Edge Baby Boomers by Brent Green.

What bewilders me about all these brand-new news articles: the  disregard of historical perspective along with the absence of acknowledgements due the original thinkers and doers. It’s not difficult to research almost anything nowadays.  A simple googling of  ‘advertising & baby boomers’ would return over a million hits.

And as a journalist it would keep you from embarrassing yourself.

15 October 2015

Baby Boomers Not Wearing Wearables

imageAh! well a-day! what evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.
- The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere

While we’re not sailing around slaying metaphors, we are doing something almost as unforgivable: we’re getting old. What a curse.

And apparently we’re all supposed to strap on high-tech wearables as penance…

Laurie_OrlovBut we’re not. This (the not wearing part, not the penance part) according to Our Lady of The Boomer Health Tech Watch, Laurie Orlov. 

I’ve been featuring Ms. Orlov’s well-researched musings for many years. Now check out her brand-new overview of all things medical, cybernated and wearable:

Baby Steps: Will Boomers Buy Into Mobile Health?
… A prime target market is the baby boomer generation because of its massive size and the looming health costs it represents.

But the boomer response has been disappointing so far. This issue brief by health tech industry analyst Laurie Orlov looks at the fit between existing products and senior consumers' needs … Orlov points out specific mismatches between what inventors want to accomplish and what boomers are likely to buy and use.

Be smart and download Ms. Orlov’s report, courtesy of The California HealthCare Foundation.

Of course, yours truly has his opinions on these grandiose gizmos. In fact, I predicted major trouble marketing them way back in 2009. But for fun let me send you to The Huffington Post:

Never Leave The Hospital! Health Tech Wearables, Implanted Chips
By Chuck Nyren
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!
By Chuck Nyren
… Along with Google Glasses, you'll also be wearing Google Nose and Google Mouth.

My guess is that we’re a decade away from wearables we might want to wear. Even then we might not want to wear them.

22 September 2015

Marketing Miscellanea

Traipsing every which way today…

Baby Boomers Not Fans of Mobile Ads
September 21, 2015
image… Baby Boomers have solid smartphone adoption, at 64.4% of mobile phone users this year … Baby boomers also had a highly negative response to mobile ads ... Fewer than 8% said they were likely to purchase a product advertised on their mobile phone … Overall, just 5.2% were interested in receiving ads on their phone at all.

TV Still Dominates
September 22nd, 2015

Hmmm.  This all sounds vaguely familiar.  A post from five years ago:

01 May 2010
… That silly retronym “traditional advertising” will remain the premiere force for introducing people to a product or service, along with sustaining its shelf life. Television, print, radio, and billboard ads will continue to have the visceral power they’ve always had – if only for their sheer size, simplicity, and cutting-edge audio/visual qualities.  Advertising on smartphones will be considered an annoyance, invasive, and rather dinky…


Millennials Boast Huge Social Networking Growth and Engagement on Smartphones, But Older Users Surprisingly Outpace Them on Tablets
By: Michael Buhl
… Older generations seem to prefer the ‘sit-back’, larger screen experience that more closely resembles the days of reading a newspaper, a book, or even using a laptop computer.

Hmmm.  Again, this sounds familiar:

Tablets & The Magic of Muggles
28 August 2013
… People will power up desktops/laptops for work and interactive pursuits, then grab their tablets for passive pleasure.

PCs, Laptops, Smartphones: Active experiences where advertising is an annoyance.

Magazines, Newspapers, Radio, TV, Outdoor, Tablets: Passive experiences where advertising is accepted and often welcomed.

Mad Men won some Emmys.  Great.  Mad Men is no more.  A link to my musings on the show - from 2008:

Mad Men
mm People are always asking me what I think of Mad Men. That’s because for the last three or four years I’ve included a section in my presentations about the history of advertising creatives, and a big chunk of it focuses on the era Mad Men inhabits…

Does my take hold up?

Coming soon to an academic library maybe near you:

Advertising in the Aging Society
imageBy Michael Prieler, Florian Kohlbacher
Population aging is a powerful megatrend affecting many countries around the world. This demographic shift has vast effects on societies, economies and businesses, and thus also for the advertising industry.
(Yours Truly penned the Afterword)

02 September 2015

Baby Boomers & Houses

Lots of news services are writing about Baby Boomers & Housing & Retirement. This makes for  good copy, but not new copy.

New Senior Housing Raises Concerns Supply Will Outpace Demand From Baby Boomers
imageBy Liam Pleven
… But it is difficult to predict what type of living arrangements they will seek out as they age, and when they may need senior housing, particularly given longer lifespans and changing attitudes about such types of housing.

Sounds 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?
The 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.”

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

I guess they’re still nodding.

Also from the WSJ:

Seniors, Not Millennials, Are Creating New Households

Huffington Post:

Boomers Are The First Tech-Savvy Retirees -- And Have The Home Renovations To Prove It
imageby Buck Wargo
… Newest retirees want state-of-the-art technologies in homes and home offices for consulting work.

Good piece. My takes over the years…

Pull-quote from the cover of Advertising to Baby Boomers, first edition published in early 2005:

coveradvbb“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 collection of posts about aging in place, with lots o’ links:

Aging In Place & Universal Design


Just for fun:
Virginia Ironside: You're Old, I'm Old... Get Used to It!
You could blanket Yasgur's Farm
with books about 60 being the new 40; 60 being the new 60, or 60 simply being 60.

19 August 2015

Folks Are Still Reading My 2005 Book


That’s probably not true but it certainly seems as if they are.

Or, the specter of NostraChuckus, famed Soothsayer and advertising gadfly who’s been startling the world for years with his mundane prognostications, is being invoked willy-nilly.

imageAARP Launches Baby Boomer Ad Firm
By Suzanne Vranica
Washington-based advocacy group AARP has created a marketing agency to help corporate America peddle products and services to the over-50 crowd, which AARP says doesn’t get enough attention from advertisers…

I emitted a short bleat about this on American Public Media’s MARKETPLACE® the other day. You can listen to and/or read it here:

imageA new older generation may attract more ad dollars
by Scott Tong  Friday,  August 14, 2015

A bunch of quotes from the WSJ piece and other media outlets covering the story:

The agency, called Influent50, says traditional marketing firms have trouble reaching that generation because they are typically staffed with young, fresh faces whose expertise lies with millennials.

It's as if no one over the age of 40 exists on the planet -- and certainly no one over 40 is ever seen walking the hallways of an ad agency.

Sounds vaguely familiar.  From a post of mine in 2003:

Advertising to Baby Boomers: Back into the Fold
imageThe 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.

And the first chapter of Advertising to Baby Boomers (2005):

Why Companies and Ad Agencies Need Baby Boomers (PDF)
CVRComp… Truth is, you can analyze marketing fodder all day and night, read countless books about marketing to Baby Boomers, attend advertising and marketing conventions around the world, and soak up everything all the experts have to say. Much of what is out there is valuable and useful … But if you plan on implementing a creative strategy and turn it over to a different generation of advertising professionals—you'll forfeit the natural sensibilities required to generate vital campaigns…

“The 18 to 34 age group is just seen as the sexier audience,” said Scott Collin…

From the Introduction (The Geritol Syndrome) to Advertising to Baby Boomers (2005):

The real reason the Geritol ads were funny was because they weren’t exactly the cutting-edge of advertising “art.” These weren’t sexy ads, ones that an agency would brandish as their best work. Over martinis just off Madison Avenue, I doubt that you ever heard,“Wow! Did you see the latest Geritol spot? Baby, fantabulous!”

Targeting older Americans isn’t easy. Experts say there is a dearth of expertise out in the marketplace when it comes to this segment of the population and many times ads don’t hit the mark.

A blog post from 2011 that might be worth a look:

Non-Diversity = Solipsism
… I was watching a commercial.  A twenty-something talked about how he’d moved back in with his parents, but they were sleeping. Then we see them in a car (the spot was advertising the car) and on their way to have fun doing something or other.  He was microwaving his dinner.  A mildly amusing spot.

Ad executives say that marketers tend to discount marketing to seniors because they believe that older people are already brand loyal, making them a tough sell.

Again, vaguely familiar. A quote from a review of my book by Dr. Joyce M. Wolburg of Marquette University, published in The Journal of Consumer Marketing (2005):

A second favorite excuse of agencies is: "Baby Boomers don't change brands" (p. 52, italics in original). Nyren dismantles this excuse nicely with examples of brand switching, and he further acknowledges that in cases where loyalty to a brand does exist, marketers who do not target Boomers give them no reason to change.

Read the full review. (PDF)

Mr. Austin at Influent50 says there are plenty of things marketers should avoid when marketing to older people. That includes photos that show the passage of time such as images of a birthday party. “That is an instant turn off for the segment,” he said.

AARP, I guess, must’ve learned this the hard way.  A post of  mine from 2007:

Food fights, Balloons and Dancing Gorillas
… I hope Mr. DeRogatis’ take on it isn’t correct - or I’m staying home and locking the doors and windows if I ever retire:

"The message of the AARP ad is that life will be one big, happy birthday party for retiring Baby Boomers, complete with food fights, balloons and dancing gorillas."

AARP is an organization for people who have birthdays:

AARP Birthday

OK, enough of picking on the big boys and girls.  I wish them luck. My only question:

Will this new agency be the agency of record for all of AARP’s advertising?

… I wonder.

Dick Stroud’s take on it all:
Saturday, August 15, 2015
Let's hope AARP's Influent50 has more success than Focalyst

Just for fun

The Karaoke Grandkids
by Chuck Nyren for The Huffington Post
2015-08-08-1439010644-1574130-grandkids5.jpg… "I don't think I have anything you can sing along with. Ask your grandmother."

"No, you have CDs!"

"Yeah, but no Mitch Miller. Would you like Thelonious Monk, Mozart or Jimi Hendrix? Your grandmother has cowboy CDs you can sing along with. And someone named Michael Bubble."