28 July 2005

Vega aims for mid-age cherry pickers

What do I know about Australian Baby Boomers? Nothing. There are experts in the field, however.

Because I know nothing, this article from the Sidney Morning Herald fascinated me (you may have to log in). Especially after such recent shortsightedness in the Big Apple and elsewhere.

Cherry-picking from the article:
DMG Radio has confirmed widely held expectations that its new Vega FM stations in Sydney and Melbourne will target about 3 million metropolitan baby boomers who are cherry picking their mix of news, current affairs, talkback and music from a variety of radio stations.

Vega settled on its music strategy less than three weeks ago after eight months research but is saying little about its programming until Monday when the station starts broadcasting at 11am. "It will be a play list beyond the dimensions that have been contemplated before," Mr. Thompson said. "It's going to be different and much larger."

Media buyers and advertisers reacted positively, saying the station would gain immediate advertising support.
Here's more about it from another Australian news source.

This business model/program strategy should be vetted by the powers-that-be here in the U.S.

25 July 2005

Jean-Paul Tréguer Gets International Ink

Good to see my friend Jean-Paul Tréguer recently profiled by Mary Blume in the International Herald Tribune.

I reviewed his book many moons ago (the first review this side of the pond), and we met and chatted two or three times at The What's Next? Boomers Business Conference in 2004. His was one of the best presentations.

A quote from the article:
"The problem is that ad agencies in general are obsessed by their creative image. Their campaigns are to promote the agency, to make it famous, to win a gold lion at the Cannes advertising festival. We take another direction, which is what the consumers of that generation like to see. They are not looking for a creative image about funerals or humor about incontinence pads. What they are looking for is solutions."
Visit Jean-Paul's Senioragency.

Booked on The Advertising Show

The Advertising ShowLooks like I'll be the August 7th guest on The Advertising Show, sponsored by Ad Age.

This is a fun, spunky, highly informative two hours of live radio, hosted by ad vets Ray Schilens and Brad Forsythe.

And they're Baby Boomers — so we should have a grand time. I'm very much looking forward to it, keen on finding out what their takes are on advertising to boomers. (Not long ago they began riffing on it, but had to get back to that week's guest.)

Visit the web site. There are dozens of archived shows featuring impressive advertising, marketing, and media pros.

However, I don't think they archive every show - so I'm going to have to do something between now and then to be important enough for archiving. Maybe if I rob a bank, assassinate someone, 'out' a CIA agent, or (this would be my best shot) break up a celebrity marriage, I'll be deemed worthy.

22 July 2005

Aetrex Worldwide Targets Baby Boomers

The Mature Market picked up this press release about Phil Simms being hired as corporate spokesperson for Aetrex.

Baby Boomers are wary of spokespeople - but I guess if you have to have one, Phil Simms isn't a bad choice for sports-related footwear and such. He's innocuous enough. Of course, if they are really targeting Baby Boomers 'worldwide' it's a good bet that few people outside of the United States will know (or care) who Phil Simms is…

Then I visited the Aetrex Web Site. What a pile of confusing, vacuous, over-hyped, over-branded nonsense. It's almost as overblown as the preceding sentence of mine. I wore out a pair of virtual sneakers just trying to get to an actual product of theirs, having to slog through all sorts of silliness.

They even have something called a Brand Statement - whatever that is.

Here's my favorite piece of self-defeating hogwash on their web site: "The word Aetrex is a derivation of ae-treks, meaning One Journey."

....... What??? I've never heard of the word/phrase 'ae-treks' - and neither has Google. The word 'ae' does mean 'one' (it's of Scottish origin) - and (juicy irony here) the word 'trek' means to make a slow or arduous journey.

Let's get real: the word aetrex is not a derivation of anything. It's a made-up word. Made up from scratch. Which is fine. I love made-up words. I make them up sometimes. And Aetrex is as good a name as any for a sports shoe company...

But please — don't give me a bunch of jive about etymological origins — because if you do, the only conclusion I will come to is that these shoes and orthopedic accessories are for slow, arduous walking — not for the active lifestyle Phil Simms is pushing.

And as I've said, it certainly was quite a lonesome, exhausting aetrek for me to track down anything relevant on their web site. I should've brought along someone to talk to.

But at least Aetrex is wise enough to target Baby Boomers. Good for them. And it will be good for them, even if they're not doing it as well as they could.

Kantar Group and AARP Services Form Joint Venture Company

This is interesting news. It might end up being big news.

Dick Stroud has put a positive spin on it, with a caveat.

I'll probably blog about this as it plays out. Actually, I'm peripherally involved in a related marketing/advertising project by AARP — so I'm not surprised by this joint venture. It makes sense.

For now, I'll simply say that pressure on ad agencies coming from marketing companies and clients is a good thing.

20 July 2005

So let them ignore us. It's their loss.


What a silly, short-sighted recurring theme — dismissing such a dynamic demographic.

Kevin DeMarrais, business columnist for The North Jersey Record, writes about the stupidity of it. What prompted his article? The same foolishness that PR guru Peter Himler blogged about a month or so ago:

WCBS-FM has shuttered its programming in favor of "Jack S**t."

And the new ratings are out. And they're jacks**t:

The New York radio station that made national news by firing Bruce "Cousin Brucie" Morrow and changing its oldies format is losing listeners.

Oh, well. It's probably better that we listen to only public radio anyway. Sometimes idiots do you favors.

The Three Ages of Advertising Slavery

I saw Hugh MacCleod's cartoon posted a few days ago and it cracked me up.

Then Steve Hall's AdRants take on it reminded me of a major theme in a book someone wrote recently...
AdRants: "There's no 50's or 60's cause, you know, after 49, all those ad people seem to disappear into other endeavors courtesy of ageism."
Gaping Void. Very funny, outrageous blog. But not for the faint-hearted.

18 July 2005

Packaging That Sells Products to Boomers


Packaging Diva JoAnn Hines has put together 10 Tips for product packaging.

I could nit-pick a few of the tips, but I hate nit-pickers. So consider this an excellent guide when designing packaging for Boomers.

JoAnn will send you a PowerPoint Presentation if you email her. (See the 10 Tips link.)

14 July 2005

Baby Boomers and Shopping Centres


Sometimes I think that Europe and Australia are more progressive (and 'get it') when it comes to marketing and advertising to Baby Boomers. Here's a good example from Down Under:
“In determining the needs and wants of Boomers as they age, it would be a mistake to expect them to be like anyother aging generations before them,” JLL's Conisbee points out. “Aging boomers are more hip. More demanding, and with their purchasing power, more rewarding for both retailers and shopping centre owners. Don't underestimate their power!”

11 July 2005

Brand Autopsy: Authors as Hawkers Series

This week (July 11-15) Brand Autopsy is featuring Authors as Hawkers, giving some of us advertising/marketing/business writers a chance to chat about our books.

I'm guessing this will be a regular feature, so bookmark BA -- and certainly give it a click every day for the next few days.

Yours Truly is first up. Quite an honor. Hearty thanks to John Moore and Paul Williams for the virtual soapbox. Let's hope I don't fall off, crack my head open, and end up iced and tagged like the guy above.

"They're all about hip, cool, retro-looking things."


The headline for the AP/Business Week article by Dee-Ann Durbin reads: Analysts question Iacocca in Chrysler ads

Apparently, these analysts are worried that Lee Iacocca hawking Chryslers might turn off Gen X and younger buyers, who like 'retro-looking things.'

Yes, they do. Recently, I was in a living room with a few people. Two were very fashion-conscious teenage girls - both wearing faded bell-bottom jeans with large rips in them. I thought I was hallucinating, having some sort of flashback. Then I realized that the last time I was in a room with two teenage girls wearing ripped bell-bottoms, I probably was hallucinating - but I knew the pants were real.

I can't comment on the Chrysler ads because I've yet to see them. Bringing back Lee Iacocca doesn't sound like such a bad idea. Boomers and folks a bit older (major new-car buyers) remember him. He was quite a character, and still is.

For these spots, Chrysler is teaming him with Jason Alexander. This seems odd. While Mr. Alexander is a fine actor with good range - he's primarily known as an everyman's loudmouth. So is Iacocca.

Or maybe that's the point. Two Joe-Blow loudmouths: one old, one middle-aged.

If I were directing, I'd put them in faded ripped bell-bottoms.

08 July 2005

Selfless baby boomers switch careers

Study shows majority of boomers looking to make a difference:

Kevin Corke of NBC News has put together a short piece about Baby Boomers wanting the second acts of their lives to be more meaningful by finding jobs that are socially responsible. It was prompted by a Princeton Survey Research Associates International study.

A few of the findings:
· 78 percent wanted to help the poor and elderly.
· 56 percent wanted to work in health care.
· 55 percent wanted to work in education.
I guess I've just hung out with too many friends who've always had altruistic goals, altruistic lives, and didn't pile up the dough: teachers, social workers, government employees, artists. The 'me generation' tag I always thought was lots of B.S.

If you are interested in finding a more meaningful vocation, check out Civic Ventures.

All this, of course, has and will have an extreme impact on advertising and marketing to Baby Boomers. David Wolfe, Brent Green and others (including Yours Truly) talk about this in our books, blogs, and when we do business consulting. We all have different takes on how to advertise and market to Baby Boomers, but there is a common through-line: Baby Boomers are not a bunch of age-deluded, self-obsessed hedonists.

05 July 2005

Implications of the latest Baby Boomer milestone...


I don't know how long this good one by Bradley Johnson in AdAge.com will be 'free' - but give it a click. Maybe you'll be lucky. It's practically the introduction to my book, plus a few chapters:
The 50-plus group today makes up 39% of the U.S. adult population. But the group this year will account for half of auto sales, and that share will increase to 53% by 2010, said Art Spinella, president of consultancy CNW Marketing Research.

So maybe boomers will downsize a bit in retirement, but they still will own large homes loaded with ... stuff. For decades to come, baby boomers will remain the consummate consumers.
About time AdAge starts paying attention to Baby Boomers.

01 July 2005

Book News: Advertising to Baby Boomers selected by AEF


The Advertising Educational Foundation has selected Advertising to Baby Boomers (Paramount Books) as a Classroom Resource.Only twenty-five titles have been chosen over the last six years. They include A BIG LIFE (in advertising) by Mary Wells Lawrence (Alfred A. Knopf), How Brands Become Icons by Douglas B. Holt (Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation), and Contemporary Advertising by William F. Arens (The McGraw-Hill Companies).

View the complete list.

Also check out AEF's impressive collection of advertising Must-Read Lists, culled from colleges and universities, top advertising professionals, and high-profile non-profit organizations.

I would like to thank AEF for selecting my book as one of their educational resources. This is quite an honor.

The 2007 revised and updated Advertising to Baby Boomers is available directly from Paramount Books.