30 September 2005

Too Unhip To Understand

I always like reading pieces about advertising and Baby Boomers by people who are not in the marketing/advertising industry. They don't pontificate (like yours truly) and simply call'em as they see'em.

Here's someone I wrote about a few months ago.

This month, Paul Briand's Too Unhip To Understand offering in his Boomer Angst!!! column is a droll, tongue-in-cheek take on commercials. He doesn't 'get' them - and certainly doesn't go out and 'get' the products advertised.

But Mr. Briand, although he pretends not to be, is a rather hip character. If you do click this link to his article, he'll start rapping. Right outa' your computer.

I thought only twenty-somethings in Nikes could do that.

27 September 2005

Stainmaster Empty Nester Spot A Good One

The son moves out of the house. The empty-nester parents go through three or four different uses for his former bedroom - goofy scenarios (and a few messy ones) - until finally putting it back the way it was - just in case he decides to visit.

The humor is gentle, silly, touching. A ham-fisted creative might have come up with derogatory, insulting personas and scenarios - like the preposterous notion of Baby Boomers wanting to become narcissistic teenagers again. These folks are loving, a bit lost (who wouldn't be) — and the fun-poking has to do with human nature, not generation-specific stereotypes.

And the spot is well-researched.

The Richards Group is the agency of record, but I don't know if they produced the spot. Stainmaster Carpet has a few of their commercials on the web - but not this one. I hope they put it up (if only so I can download it and use it in presentations).

Addendum, December 19th 2005: They put the spot on the web. Watch it.

26 September 2005

Upcoming Baby Boomers Marketing/Advertising Conferences

This week (Sept 28-29) is the Baby Boomer and Senior Marketing Conference in Sydney, Australia:
Understanding An Ageing Generation With Youthful Attitudes To Create Intelligent And Non-Patronising Communication Strategies
Kevin Lavery and Gill Walker will be presenting.

Swinging 60s & Baby Boomers Series (Nov 3-4) in London, England:
A two day, separately bookable extravaganza illustrating the latest trends in the 50+ market.

The Segmentation Forum will address the debates around the latest innovations in strategic 50+ Segmentation & The Media Consumption Forum will provide the answers to your most pressing concerns regarding the behaviour forming 50+ media habits.
Among the presenters will be Dick Stroud.

23 September 2005

Younger audience near its use-by date.

Simply put, they are ahead of us. Us meaning the U.S., they meaning the U.K., Australia, France, Canada.

Here's a piece by Paul McIntyre in The Sydney Morning Herald. Excerpt:
It's a funny game, advertising. Few want to get serious about targeting those with the money - the older age brackets - which gives the network with the young guns a handy position.

But it will change when the advertising herd does start a meaningful migration to older folks.
They used to follow our leads in marketing, ape our advertising. Now, we'd be in better shape economically if we started following and aping them.

20 September 2005

"Follow the boomers, follow the bucks."

How refreshing to read about a fellow who (in contemporary parlance) gets it.

Bob Hastings is the CEO of the Rockland-Thomaston Area Chamber of Commerce in Maine — and he's not thrilled with his state's advertising campaign for tourism. Read Tom Groening's piece in the Bangor Daily News:
Using a photograph of a twentysomething Lycra-clad man climbing the rock face of a mountain to sell a Maine vacation is just wrong, Bob Hastings believes.
The "real Maine," Hastings argues, is a place where couples in their 50s might have breakfast in a downtown diner and hear lobstermen gripe about the fishing in the next booth.
Mr. Hastings also grasps the importance of the internet and how Baby Boomers use it.

What impresses me the most is that Bob doesn't need to read my book — or any other books about marketing/advertising to Baby Boomers. Fortunately (for Yours Truly and my publisher), not too many people are as on top of things as Mr. Hastings. And even if they happen to be as smart, they're often intimidated by ad agencies' youth-only agendas.

After reading this profile in The Angelis Press by William Lannon, I'm guessing that not much intimidates Mr. Hastings.

16 September 2005

Sir Paul as Spokesperson

Flack Ace Peter Himler's take on Fidelity Investment's investment in Sir Paul as spokesperson for their company is a must read.

Also, Mr. Himler has recently tossed some video into his blog. Click the clips on the left ("Why I Blog" and "Getting Behind the Headlines").

As I've said before, there's no better spokesperson for PR than PH.

13 September 2005

Selling Online to the Older Shopper

Writing for ecommerce-guide.com, James McGuire focuses his latest piece on Selling to the Older Shopper.

What does the article say about Baby Boomers? A whole bunch, including this unsurprising but ignored fact:
Today's seniors are reluctant to buy online from a site they haven't heard of; if they don't know a business offline it won't get their dollars online. But with the age 50-64 group, there's a mentality of wanting to try new things and being adventurous. The fact that an online vendor is newly launched is no deterrent for them.

Have browser, will travel.

08 September 2005

Marketing and Age and Everything in 324 Words

Well, I wish they were my words - but I'm too much of a slobbering gusher. So here's Dick Stroud's simple, concise Theory of Everything (The UK version, at least). He wraps it up pretty well.

Also download Dick's two new articles in PDF:

The Charmed Generation Becomes Generation Broke

Digital Marketing for The Charmed Generation

Make sure you (at the very least) check out the second one. Dick's web site design and navigation commandments should be carved in ethereal stone.

For another Theory of Everything from New Zealand, read this article.

03 September 2005

It's okay to be gray.

As everyone knows, thanks to so many astute media pundits and marketing/advertising gurus, Baby Boomers think they're still teenagers and are horrified when they look in the mirror and see some hoary stranger in their forties or fifties. (And in a few months, many of these malicious apparitions will take the form of normal human beings in their sixties.)

Botox! Hair coloring! These are the answers to that creepy, disingenuous image staring back at them.

….. But according to an article by Jack Neff in Ad Age (subscription required), "AGING POPULATION BRUSHES OFF COLORING," the hair coloring and salon industries are in the doldrums — all thanks to Baby Boomers eschewing these phony ways of attempting to look younger:
"The graying of america is at the root of the problem for the $1 billion-plus mass-market hair-coloring business. The category has cooled from double-digit growth the past two decades to more than 4% declines the past two years..."
Here's another article by Colette Bancroft of the St. Petersburg Times. An excerpt:
Diana Lewis Jewell is the author of Going Gray, Looking Great! The Modern Woman's Guide to Unfading Glory (Fireside, 2004) and a former marketing director of Vogue.

"Look at this generation, our generation," says Jewell, who is in her 50s. "We always wanted to be ourselves."

The number of gray heads is growing, she says, because of "that boomer individualistic attitude: It's okay to be gray."

In her book she cites a poll commissioned by the AARP that shows 53 percent of boomer women and 6 percent of men in that age group color their hair.

"That means 47 percent of women and 94 percent of men don't."
Also check out the adjunct article with quotes from a bunch of old, creaky, silver-haired geezers.