22 April 2006

Eons and Eons

There's now more going on over at Jeff Taylor's Eons. And here's a new press release:
Eons Invites a 50+ Generation of Boomers and Seniors to Be Proud, Be Loud About Their Age
I'm not sure I need to be proud and loud about my age. I'm perfectly happy with it, minus some aches and pains.

Let me think about this…

I should be proud that I've yet to get a fatal disease or die in an accident? (I guess all the Baby Boomers who've croaked should be ashamed of themselves.)

I hope I can dredge up a few things a bit more worthy to be proud of. If I can't, I'm in big trouble. (And if I start screaming from rooftops about being proud about simply being alive, please lure me down -- and lock me in my room until this psychotic episode is over.)

And there's a contest:
Eons Launches the "How Old Are You?" Challenge to Push Past Social Taboos, to Inspire People to Pursue Their Dreams
Well, that certainly sounds nice. But what are these dreams? Or at least what are the ones the web site and Mr. Taylor (in the press release) find to be worthwhile accomplishments and goals?

Investing in a village and renovating a floating classroom sound pretty good to me. And there's nothing wrong with doing other, more fun things.

The problem is that I'd have a hard time feeling 'proud' that I sailed on the QE2 or bought a villa in Spain. I might enjoy them a lot - and there's nothing wrong with that. If you have the money, great.

However, these types of activities and purchases are nothing new, nothing particularly inspiring, nothing that uniquely defines this generation, or redefines the ages we are. If you need to be 'inspired' to book a cabin on a cruise ship, are 'proud' that you did, and feel the need to be 'loud' about it — get thee to a therapist. Fast.

And Baby Boomers certainly don't need any help pushing past social taboos. For better or for worse, it's a big part of what we've been doing for the last four and a half decades. We won't be stopping anytime soon. No motivation required.

Maybe it's those 'seniors' who need help. But I'm not so sure. They seem to be pretty motivated, don't need a 'push.' Some might.

Jeff Taylor is an interesting, nutty, very bright fellow. Monster.com is a wonderful, helpful mega-monster.

Eons has lots of potential. I just wonder if they should skew it more towards altruistic pursuits, especially since one of their key branding concepts is 'Proud.' At the moment (or at least after snooping around the site and reading the press release), it seems as if it's mostly fun and games and contests - with a few serious pursuits thrown in.

That's how I would advise him. A less cheesy approach.

Maybe make it a big, splashy, commercial Civic Ventures.

(I'll be hopping off the blogging bandwagon for a week or so. Will be in Phoenix for a presentation at The National Association of Homebuilders Building for Boomers and Beyond Symposium.)

18 April 2006

Growing Bolder

Thanks to Matt Thornhill's Boomer Project newsletter for turning me on to this crazy place, Growing Bolder:
We're in uncharted territory. All of the stereotypes of aging are being smashed. There's a new stage in the human lifecycle and it holds more promise than any other. Anything is possible.
I guess it's a web site, a radio show, a place to hang out and post discussions - and who knows what else. They don't even know yet.

What's refreshing is that this isn't some cookie-cutter site with boring Baby Boomers in sweat suits, blandly smiling like pod people. Everyone seems to be having a blast over at Growing Bolder.

I'm checking in every week to see what they're up to.

A press release about it:

Marc Middleton, founder of Boomer Broadcasting Inc. has launched a network targeting America's fastest growing and most powerful demographic. The Active Aging Network consists of GrowingBolder.com - a multimedia website, The Growing Bolder Radio Show and the Growing Bolder Newspaper Column.

15 April 2006

Insatiable Appetite for Information

Baby Boomers the most Likely to Book Online after Researching Hotels and Flights
Insatiable Appetite for Information: Baby Boomers view an average of 36 pages of travel content when researching online…. Of the travel content viewed by this group, over 70% takes place on agency, hotel supplier, and airline carrier websites.
I write about this in my book - and have blogged about it before:

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.
Also read about a few off-beat vacations Baby Boomers are taking.

11 April 2006

More In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida

A few others are weighing in on the Fidelity spot:

In-A-Gadda-Da-What? (Aging Hipsters)
Investments...stupid stoner song...what the hell dots are they trying to connect here?
Iron Butterfly's in an IRA ad? Bummer (Michael Stetz, San Diego Union-Tribune)
"In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" is in a class by itself. Hear it and a veteran of the '60s might think water bong, not 401(k) rollovers.
Intuition: Aging, the boomer way (Karen Heller, Philadelphia Inquirer)
Soon, I imagine, Metamucil will be given an Andy Warhol treatment, retirement communities will turn up the volume not simply due to hearing loss, and Zep lyrics will pop up all over the place, though not, perhaps, "Stairway to Heaven."
Maybe I do want to see this commercial.

I did see a wacky spot for M&Ms the other day that was sort of like eating them while on LSD. (Not that I admit to ever eating M&Ms.)

07 April 2006

Ameriprise vs. Fidelity Financial Redux

I guess you should first read the blog entry from October '05. That'll set the stage for this entry and links:

Invoking "The Sixties": Fidelity Financial vs. Ameriprise

The above has been the most popular (or perhaps most infamous) entry of mine over the last year. I know from my stats that Ameriprise has been all over it. It still gets tons of hits.

Recently, others have been writing about these campaigns. A very good piece by Patrick Somerville for The Simon:
Woodstock, Flower Power and Mutual Funds: How Ameriprise Panders to Boomers

The 1960s were about cultural change and political activism. But in Ameriprise's new commercials, the era's touchstones are evoked in the name of money, money, money.
While I've not seen it (and hope I never do), apparently Fidelity Financial has stooped as low as Ameriprise. Read A '60s Anthem is Sold As Bait by Mark Patinkin of The Providence Journal:
"In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" is being used to get aging hippies to invest for retirement. It's in a Fidelity commercial. Define irony. I strongly doubt that when a circle of stoned 19-year-olds were passing around a joint with Iron Butterfly on the turntable in 1969, they were weighing wealth-preservation versus growth as they considered the most prudent mix of stocks, bonds and other equity instruments … I find that a bit patronizing. That's how you talk to old people who are, like, I don't know, over 50 or something.
Sometimes I'm speechless. Often it's due to gagging. How grateful I am to others when my throat feels like it's been stuffed with a dry mop.

And Mr. Patinkin hints at one of the cautionary themes in my book:
But someone - probably a 29-year-old ad whiz kid who researched boomer music - figured it was the way to hook us.

Update, 27 April 2006: David Wolfe (Ageless Marketing) is now blogging about the Ameriprise campaigns. As always, his erudite and enlightening comments get your brain roiling:

Ameriprise Doesn't Get It

More on Ameriprise's Misreading of Boomers

06 April 2006

Baby Boomers: Web 3.0

It seems as if some big companies are catching on, coming up with good ideas for the web and Baby Boomers. Two stories recently:

Bertelsmann looking to create 'MySpace' for older set:
German media group Bertelsmann plans a return to the Internet and is looking at transforming its Direct Group of book, CD and DVD clubs into an Internet networking scene for older people.
New Company Focused On The 50+ Market
Eons, Inc., a 50+ media company inspiring a generation of boomers and seniors to live the biggest life possible, has secured $10 million in Series A financing, from General Catalyst Partners and Sequoia Capital. Jeff Taylor, founder of Monster.com, is the founder and CEO of Eons(TM), which will formally launch in July 2006.
It's hard to blog much about the above, since they're both in the planning stages. Nothing much to see yet. Eons™ is just a placeholder. But it's coming: The age revolution on the WWW.

Why don't we just call it what it is (or will be): Web 3.0

Or 4.0 or 5.0 - whatever version isn't taken. Because that's what it'll end up being.

04 April 2006


Read this piece by Abbey Klaassen before it vanishes into the ether:

TV LAND Suggests Ignoring Boomers is Billion-Dollar Mistake:

The Nielsen Media Research demos that media buyers and marketers use to bet billions of TV dollars aren’t in line with market forces, well-known demographer Ken Dychtwald told a roomful of media buyers and marketers at midtown Manhattan’s Cipriani restaurant this morning. Instead of the in demand demo of 18- to 34-year-olds, marketers should target the 40-to-60 set.

According to network executives, about 70% of its audience is within the boomer demo. “If you did an intersection of boomers, ages 40 to 60, and then 25-54, our sweet spot is the intersection of those groups,” said Karen Bressner, senior VP-ad sales for the cable network.

Kudos to Ken Dychtwald and TV LAND.

But television execs and media planners have been told this before. And I'll probably tell them again. And Jon Currie will tell them again. And again.

That's why I've started going to advertisers with my book, my consulting and speaking - ignoring the media industry, the advertising/marketing agencies. Companies with products/services want to move their offerings. When they start putting pressure on the media to create shows and on advertising agencies to create ads for the 40+ demographic, that's when the revolution will happen.

“We’ve done focus groups with this demo who say they turn on the TV and there are 500 channels and they can’t find anything to watch,” he (Dychtwald) said. “They start to feel annoyed, like media has blatantly disregarded them.”