17 October 2017

NostraChuckus Scoops The New York Times.

imageFamed Soothsayer and advertising gadfly NostraChuckus has been startling the world for years with his mundane prognostications.

Almost every eve, The Great Seer stares into his Crystal Ball of Common Sense and sees himself – but in other guises. These strange visages look nothing like him – yet they do. It’s as if his magikal orb doubles as a phantasmagoric funhouse mirror.

Today, he stares into the undulating image of The New York Times

540Baby Boomers to Advertisers: Don’t Forget About Us
By Janet Morrissey
“Marketers have gotten so hot for the millennial generation that they have essentially ignored boomers” … “We’re here in the millions, and we have more disposable income, time and want to spend money. Yet they don’t give us the consideration that they should.”

Sounds eerily familiar. Download the first few chapters of Advertising to Baby Boomers (2005/2007).

“I’m here today to fix something that drives me completely crazy,” before criticizing his wireless competitors for deeming boomers as “too old,” “stuck in the past” and not interested in technology or the internet.

NostraChuckus, from the 2005 book:

image“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.”

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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.

More from The New York Times:

He mocked some of his rivals’ senior phone plans for focusing on “big buttons”…

08 December 2007
[childphone.jpg]The Jitterbug Phone
… Those numbers and buttons are big - like a toy phone … Boomers are tech-savvy, demand choices.

Right now, it’s mainly companies that make senior-related products, like life insurance, medical devices and reverse mortgages, that regularly target boomers.

16 September 2009
Boomer Backlash II
The Backlash: If every time someone over fifty sees a commercial targeting them and it’s always for an age-related product or service, pretty soon their eyes will glaze over, they’ll get itchy and grumpy.
The Real Issue: Marketing and advertising folks grasping the fact that Boomers will be buying billions (trillions?) of dollars worth of non-age related products for the next twenty-odd years. If you target this group for toothpaste, computers, clothes, food, nail polish, sporting equipment, toenail clippers - anything at all (almost), and you do it with respect and finesse, they will appreciate and consider your product.

“They want to market to the cool segment, the modern segment, the ‘in’ segment,” Mr. Light said of marketers, many of whom are millennials themselves.

The 2005 book again.  The introductory chapter, The Geritol Syndrome, is all about this.

19 August 2015
Folks Are Still Reading My 2005 Book
… It’s going to be up to companies to be proactive when dealing with advertising agencies. Quality control of your product doesn’t stop at the entrances of Madison Avenue’s finest, or at the doors of small local or regional advertising agencies. If companies put pressure on agencies, and demand 45-plus creatives for products aimed at the 45-plus market, then they will find out that Baby Boomers are still “the single most vibrant and exciting consumer group in the world.”

Automobiles is another category where boomers may feel underserved…

Too many posts about this.  Three:

12 March 2009
Who’s gonna buy this car?
In 2005 on The Advertising Show yours truly had a spirited discussion with hosts Brad Forsythe and Ray Schilens.  A chunky segment was about marketing autos to Boomers.

18 DECEMBER 2009
What Next From The Crystal Ball of Common Sense?

03 MAY 2012
67% Of All Sales…
… Those age 50 and older are buying more than three of every five new vehicles sold, or about 62% … For the Detroit Three, boomers now account for 67% of all sales.

nostrachuckusNostraChuckus is getting tired now. The images are becoming jumbled, hazy.

The Great Seer knows he’s not alone. Other Great Seers have been staring into their crystal balls for decades: Kevin Lavery, Dick Stroud, Mary Furlong, John Migliaccio, Kurt Medina, Todd Harff, Brent Green, Carol Orsborn, Matt Thornhill, David Wolfe – just to name a few. 

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.

At least it's nice to have The New York Times catch up with validate what we’ve been saying all these years.


Just for fun:

Image result for huffpostNormal and Healthy is Scary
by Chuck Nyren
Is living forever going to suck?

10 October 2017

The Pitfalls Of Social Media Advertising

Tony MarianiTony Mariani tipped me off with a tweet:

The Pitfalls Of Social Media Advertising (and LISTEN to it – it’s only 3 minutes long)
Many companies are investing money in social media to advertise new products. But they could be paying a hidden price for those ads.

imageRead more:

Wang, Shuting and Greenwood, Brad N. and Pavlou, Paul A., Tempting Fate: Social Media Posts by Firms, Customer Purchases, and the Loss of Followers (July 10, 2017). Fox School of Business Research Paper No. 17-022.

… We find that while social media posts do increase the retailer’s sales by 5% in the short-term, they also increase the followers’ propensity to unfollow the firm by 300%. Strikingly, results also indicate that social media posts cannibalize long-term cumulative sales…

Nothing surprising to me. I’ve been bellowing about this for over a decade. Stop bugging people when they don’t to be bugged. Only bug them when they want to be bugged. Simple common sense:

50Digital Distractions
Advertisers are getting wise to the drawbacks of marketing in the digital nest. From 2007: Positioning Magazines for Baby Boomers

And now that I’ve totally trashed online marketing, here’s a good e-book about how to do it correctly:

59Social, Silver Surfers: Where to find (and how to win) mature consumers online
By Erin Read and Kimberly Hulett
… The only longitudinal study of the online behaviors, marketing preferences and attitudes specifically held by older (40+) adults…

07 September 2017

Even More Some of The News That’s Fit to Print

winchellGood evening, Mr. and Mrs. Marketing from continent to continent and satellite to server and all the ships at sea. Let's go to press

Now in its fourth year, the Mature Marketing Summit is firmly established as Europe's leading conference for all interested in marketing for older consumers …

Old New News Flashes: Boomers' role in entrepreneurship is, well, booming … Not exactly cutting-edge journalism if you’ve kept up with NostraChuckus through the years: Entrepreneurs & Baby Boomers Part I Boomers A Driving Force On U.S. Economy Despite Advertising Focus On Millennials …  Some of us have been saying that for the last twelve years, maybe more …

carolTalk of The Town: Carol Orsborn was once Fierce With Age.  Now she’s Older, Wiser, FiercerPaul Kleyman isn’t thrilled about The Age of Anti-Aging … I wasn’t happy about it in my previous postThe Ad Contrarian has proof that he’s an idiotBrent Green examines Media Mishaps from Spicey and The Mooch

P&G Cuts More Than $100 Million in ‘Largely Ineffective’ Digital Ads … This reporter is not surprised … ‘Til next time.

30 August 2017

Disillusioned

imageHarry (Rick) Moody, former Vice President and Director of Academic Affairs for AARP, tackles disillusionment in an engrossing piece for The American Society on Aging.  He opens with a humorous, self-deprecating story about not giving a presentation on the subject:

Baby Boomers: From Great Expectations to a Crisis of Meaning
Image result for american society of aging… I had given many presentations at conferences on aging, but this session turned out to be unique: I sat on a chair at my poster session for two hours and not a single person came by. Not one. Talk about disillusionment!

Rick goes deep, quoting and/or referencing Robert N. Butler, Carl Jung, Charles Dickens, The Buddha, Erik Erikson, Viktor Frankl, and others. His take, it seems to me, is not to define disillusionment as some sort of generic depression - but as a wisdom-inducing experience, perhaps not welcomed but ultimately enlightening.

The Danish author Isak Dinesen once said: “All the sorrows of life are bearable if only we can convert them into a story.” Are we perhaps telling the wrong story about old age—namely, that we can “fix” it?


Rick Moody’s Human Values in Aging Newsletter has over 10,000 subscribers. It’s free w/ no advertising. A personal newsletter. No privacy-invading shenanigans.  Email Rick and he will add you to the list.

CVRCompWhile Rick goes deep, Chuck goes shallow – simply sticking a finger in the ocean and wriggling it around. Way back in 2005, in my book Advertising to Baby Boomers, a chapter dealing with some of the same issues:

Don’t Paint Too Rosy A Picture
A recent article in USA Today asks us to “take a moment to journey forward to 2046, when 79 million baby boomers will be 82 to 100 years old.”[i]  A paragraph later, the reporter asks, “So just what kind of America will be forged by this crowd of geriatric goliaths?”

Excuse me for being an unassuming ‘David’ (or even worse, a genocidal Grim Reaper) but I doubt very much that all 79 million Baby Boomers in the U.S. will still be alive in forty years, swaggering like giants – unless the medical establishment is holding out on me.

The good news you know: many Baby Boomers will live longer, healthier lives – more so than in any previous generations. The bad news you also know: a huge chunk of Boomers will pass on, and another huge chunk will be dealing with acute diseases and afflictions.  

The problem is that well-meaning articles in the press like the USA Today piece, along with mountains of 50+ marketing fodder, are setting up Boomers for a psychological fall.  There will be a backlash.

Not being a therapist, I won’t diagnose – but if it were beaten into my head over and over that things were going to be just peachy for the next forty years, that my same-aged friends will all be around laughing and cavorting while leading meaningful, vigorous lives—then, shock of shocks, many of us become incapacitated and/or drop and die – I will feel cheated.   I will become depressed and disillusioned.  It will happen even if I’m one of the ‘lucky’ healthy ones.

Ask today’s 80+ year olds about this or that and you’ll probably find that many are surprised (but relatively pleased) they’re still alive.  They believe they’ve beaten the odds, for whatever reasons.  Jump twenty-five, thirty years: if the myth of the non-dying, perfectly healthy Baby Boomer persists, folks in the aging industry are going to have millions of very angry octogenarians their hands.  They might even blame you for all those false promises.

How should this be dealt with by marketers and advertisers?  Contrary to popular myth, Baby Boomers do not believe that they are still teenagers or young adults. (Some probably do, but they need therapy.)  Boomers are slyly redefining what it means to be the ages they are.  Included in this new definition are some youthful attitudes – but the real change is that instead of winding down, many are winding up.  We’re not ‘looking forward to retirement,’ we’re looking forward to new lives, new challenges.  Only a small percentage will opt for pure retirement.

This is all part of redefining what it means to be the ages we are.  It may seem to some as  pathological, believing and acting as if we’re eighteen or twenty-five – but that’s because pundits and experts suspiciously eyeing this gargantuan, spirited, unwieldy and varied hoard of middle-agers have nothing to compare it to.  The only conclusion they can come to: Baby Boomers must a bit daft.

There is a big difference between thinking you are younger than you are – and not thinking that you are old.  This ‘night and day’ distinction may confuse many pundits, but it does not confuse most Boomers.

Much of this new, positive attitude about our future has to do with being the beneficiaries of so many fast and furious medical advances.  Some we have already taken advantage of, while others are ready and waiting for us – or right around the corner.  A good example is joint and hip replacement surgery.  The cane industry is in the doldrums, and we’re hoping it will never recover.

Another medical advance (still in its infancy, from what I’ve read) is pain management.  This promises Baby Boomers and successive generations freedom from a fear that haunts all as we age.

There has been plenty of press about Baby Boomers and their dread of Alzheimer’s.  Not much of a surprise.  Alzheimer’s affects many of our parents, we’re caring for them – and nothing frightens us more than not being in control of our own destinies.  However, from what I’ve read there may be some breakthroughs within the next twenty years.  That’s very good news.

Am I painting too rosy a picture here?  Isn’t this something I was railing against in the first few paragraphs?

Yes, but with a big difference.  All the examples above have to do with the quality of life – not the quantity.

If I were digging into a marketing/advertising campaign for a client in the aging industry, I would extract as much quality inherent in the product/service – and toss out any (or most) mention of longevity.  This would hold true even with basic nutritional and  exercise products.  A significant chunk of people who eat only healthy foods and  exercise regularly die of heart attacks, get cancer, are the victims of  all sorts of diseases and afflictions.  You can’t fool me.

But the quality of their lives in every respect will be superior to the ones who don’t take care of themselves, or avail themselves to what’s out there in the aging industry market.  

Nobody can promise you that you’ll live to be a hundred.  However, you can (more or less) make a good argument that healthy lifestyles and advances in modern medicine will offer you a quality life after sixty that no preceding generation had ever imagined.

[i] 2046: A boomer odyssey
By Marco R. della Cava, USA TODAY October 27, 2005

_____

There’s nothing wrong with being positive and aspirational – you just have to temper it with dollops of reality so your marketing won’t be dismissed as pie-in-the-sky nonsense.

21 July 2017

The Interminable Death of Television

[image[3].png]Nothing I can think of is as lively and chipper as television in its final throes.

If we all began dying as happily, healthily, slowly, and painlessly as TV, we wouldn’t fear the process - but welcome it. 

In fact, TV’s leisurely demise sounds just like normal, invigorating life to me.

The death knell first chimed in 2006:

Let's Just Declare TV Dead and Move On
imageThe poll may be more of a simple testament to the fact that as people spend more time on the Internet, television time suffers.

Regardless, the writing is on the wall.

Someone must’ve whitewashed that wall.  Just ugly graffiti anyway…

And in 2010 Television continued croaking:

Advertising Is Dead. Again.
Here’s a question I’ve never wondered about:

“What do viewers do during commercials?”

I just assumed that most viewers watch them. Now I find out the truth: Most viewers watch them.

Foretellings
… 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.

Spending goes where the eyeballs are.

In 2011 came the last gasps:

The Flat-Screen Rectangle of Common Sense
image… For the umpteenth time - The Most Effective Marketing/Advertising Model For Reaching Baby Boomers: What is now called traditional advertising pushing you to an age-friendly, informative product/services web site.

Then many years of final death wheezing and twitching:

20 January 2014
Television Repeats

TV Advertising Most Influential
by Jack Loechner
According to Deloitte's fifth edition "State of the Media Democracy" survey, 71% of Americans still rate watching TV on any device among their favorite media activities. In addition, 86% of Americans stated that TV advertising still has the most impact on their buying decisions.

11 August 2014
How America is Watching TV

26 July 2016
Television Still Shining
OMG! The Internet STILL Hasn't Killed TV!

Now, finally, in 2017, Television (and Advertising) are dead and buried:

TV networks sell a record $19.7 billion in advertising
by Meg James (LA Times)
… Media Dynamics calculated that the price per viewer paid by advertisers at this year’s market was a 72% increase over the 2008 upfront. And overall revenue generated for commercials placed in prime-time programs soared 18% since 2008.

R.I.P.
Television and Advertising

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