29 August 2006

What'sNext Magazine

I've been accused of gynocentrism because of a few recent posts.

Guilty as charged. Or just think of it as a guilty pleasure.

Businessweek has something to say about my misplaced affections:
Largely forgotten are the millions of boomer dads, who shop a lot more than their fathers or grandfathers ever did.
And over a year ago my publishers were looking for a writer to put together a book about marketing to men. I don't think they found anybody. Too bad. Someone could have been ahead of the curve.

So to make this blog fair and balanced, here's a magazine targeting Baby Boomer men:
The mission of What's Next Media is to inform and inspire men who are seeking to build a bigger, more fulfilling life. What's Next will address a wide range of topics central to the challenges and opportunities facing men during their middle years.
What'sNext magazine is due out in January 2007. The web site already has some content. Personally, I'm not drooling over its content - but that's just me. Baby Boomer men are a varied group. I'm sure lots of them will eat it up. And perhaps I'll find it tasty eventually - maybe when I can pick it up with both hands and chomp down on it.

There is a large market for all sorts of magazines and web sites targeting Baby Boomers. If I were putting together a magazine for Baby Boomer men, I'd make it a bit more open, freewheelin', disassembled around the edges. I'd have profiles about Boomers doing just about anything, humor and fiction pieces in each issue, original art and graphics, give it a more earthy personality, maybe even an outrageous personality (or a hint of one) — with less focus on the aspirational. Baby Boomers don't need to be prodded.

But that would be my magazine. What'sNext is another magazine (and a real one, unlike mine) - and it looks like it might be a good one. That's because the writers are top-notch. Much, much better than the bland ones scribbling away at a recently tossed up web site that I've already blogged about too many times.

You can get a free copy of the premiere issue of What'sNext by filling out this form.

And I'll be interested in soaking up the look and feel of the ads. I might even hold them up to the mirror, because:
According to Leo Burnett, 79% of American men say they can barely recognize themselves in advertisements.

25 August 2006

Boomer Broads with Attitude

Hot on the heels of my Hot Flash Café post comes an invite to the premiere of a new radio show:
To: nyrenagency
Subject: media request

Hi Mr. Nyren,

I am the booker-producer for a new radio show in Boston MA USA, 'Boomer Broads with Attitude' and I'm writing to ask if you could possibly join us on September 17 for the kickoff of the show. Anne Marie Aigner and Janet Prensky are the principals of a very successful marketing firm in Boston, Aigner Associates, with much media experience. We are fans of your blog.

… We wondered if you'd be available to call in for a 6 - 10 minute spot to talk about your work — advertising to Baby Boomers and the challenges, the rewards, and the specifics.

Thanks much,
(LM) for Boomer Broads with Attitude, WBIX Radio in Boston MA
Shows like this will be popping up all over the place in the next few years. 'Like this' meaning a variety of programs that target Baby Boomers, male and female.

This one sounds like it'll be fun. And I'm partial to boomer broads with attitude. Of course, in my younger years I could handle two or three or even four BBWAs at once, easy. But nowadays I'm not so sure. I'll have to get myself a personal trainer, work out, psych myself up by September 17th.

27 Sept 2006: More about Boomer Broads with Attitude.

24 August 2006

Tailoring media to an older crowd

Andrea K. Walter (Baltimore Sun) and David Bauder (AP) have complementary pieces featuring John Erickson of Erickson Retirement Communities and his developing role as media mogul. From The Baltimore Sun:
Erickson is in negotiations with Comcast Corp. to start airing this fall a daily, four-hour segment of cable programming aimed at baby boomers under the name Retirement Living TV. He hopes to build the content to a 24-hour stand-alone station. He then wants to move to the Internet and other technology such as podcasts.
From Associated Press:
Retirement Living will air "Amazing Seniors," about the achievements of people after they've retired from traditional jobs. Erickson also wants to set up a "Meet the Press"-style public-affairs show, and have programs on personal finance, travel and fitness all directed at the age group … Erickson said he could fail, like most TV startups, but he could also awaken a sleeping giant. "I think you'll find that everybody wants to talk to this market," but nobody yet has pulled it off, he said.
I won't comment on the shows because I haven't seen them (although this doesn't stop some media experts and pundits). I will say that I admire Mr. Erickson and his team simply because they're doing it.

However, the word 'retirement' might scare off Baby Boomers. It smacks of 'old' and 'irrelevant.'

Not too long ago I was talking to Marc Middleton of Growing Boldera web site, radio show, and other good stuff under wraps at the moment. Originally Marc named his
umbrella company The Active Aging Network. I said that he should dump the word 'aging.' Now it's the Active Living Network. Much better.

I'm not taking credit for this. Marc no doubt talked to other people about it. I was probably one in a handful of sounding boards.

I hope Mr. Erickson finds some good sounding boards—along with an eclectic mix of vibrant, creative Baby Boomers to produce, write, direct, and edit his network's offerings.

Retirement Living TV

The Erickson Tribune

Erickson School of Aging Studies (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)

17 August 2006

Tiger Woods Should Pitch for Cadillac

Doron Levin of Bloomberg News writes mostly about the automobile industry. I've always liked him because he thinks creatively. More often than not, Mr. Levin doesn't simply point at problems and whine, but often comes up with smart, imaginative solutions.

His latest imaginative solution has Tiger Woods hawking Cadillacs instead of Buicks. Doron makes perfect sense:
"… the handsome, well-spoken Woods just might do some good for Cadillac, GM's luxury car division. Cadillac … still lags behind the luxury competition, mostly because baby boomers refuse to switch from their BMW, Lexus and Mercedes sedans. And that's a pity for GM, because Cadillac's CTS and STS are good-looking, highly-rated alternatives."
Let me take Mr. Levin's idea and come up with my own imaginative solution. Pretend that Cadillac hasn't decided to write off Baby Boomers—the largest age demographic for new car sales, especially for luxury cars.

Doron mentions the embarrassing Cadillac/Led Zeppelin campaign. I railed about it in the introduction to my book (PDF):
"… If Cadillac wants to appeal to Baby Boomers (we think of Cads as cars gangsters drive, or as hearses) do you really have to position them as something that will make us feel young again as we zoom around blasting rock and roll while our car is in cruise control? Only occasionally do we sit around and daydream about being eighteen again. Most of the time we don't feel that old."
Time to have some fun, go off into the ether. I'll re-brand Cadillac for Baby Boomers. First some research:

Many older Boomers, along with 60-70 year olds, are becoming obsessed with three related matters: their grandchildren, volunteerism and mentoring, and their social/cultural legacy as a generation (with a quarter-century or more to add to it).

'Me Generation' becomes 'We Generation in USA Today:
Will boomers really give something back? They already are. Nationally, boomers (33%) have higher volunteer rates than either seniors (24%) or young adults (24%), reports the Corporation for National and Community Service. This is the most schooled and traveled generation in history. It has much to offer by the giving of its time. The number of American volunteers rose to 65.4 million last year from 59.5 million in 2002. It is projected to reach 70 million by 2010, driven by aging boomers who want to make a difference.
Don't think that I'm saything that it's all altruism with Baby Boomers. They also love to play. And play they will:
The bottom line is that over the next 20 years there will be more golfers in the higher play frequency years than at any time in history. When will this happen? Not tomorrow – Baby Boomers haven’t begun retiring in large numbers. However, our model suggests that incremental rounds from boomers will rise gradually over the next 10 years, peak around 2015, and remain in force for another 10 years after that ... NGF estimates that, over the next 20 years, total rounds attributable to boomers will increase by 75 million to 100 million above what they are currently playing.
Tiger Woods is Cadillac's spokesperson. The campaign is about Cadillac and The Tiger Woods Foundation. Nothing cheesy like incentives (these are luxury cars) - but a real connection. More than merely a corporate sponsorship. Cadillac is deeply involved with educating and motivating young children by actively supporting a high-profile volunteer program where mentoring is the most important ingredient. Perhaps Cadillac has a mentoring/volunteer information package you can pick up at a dealer - and/or deep info on their web site.

Cadillac looks like a different car to me now. I don't see tacky jewels, machine guns, or coffins. I see a meaningful future and my place in it.

And it sounds like a different car. It resonates in my social conscience — not in the speakers of my car audio system when I turn it up to 'eleven.'

This approach hasn't hurt Target. With Cadillac/Baby Boomers skew it towards mentoring.
Too bad GM didn't do it right the first time. Instead of that insulting, icy, slick, soulless campaign, Cadillac could have transformed their image into something exciting and meaningful to Baby Boomers.

Along with educating and motivating tens of thousands of kids.

(And, if you'll allow me to be your typical oily, duplicitous, conniving marketing strategist, it introduces Cadillac to tens of thousands of Millennials — car buyers in ten, fifteen, and twenty years.)

11 August 2006

Tribal Knowledge by John Moore

I just read a really good one: Tribal Knowledge by John Moore.

Sure - it's all about marketing, advertising, coffee, Starbucks. But it's really a book about passion.

If you're in business merely to sell any product or service, and you need to be kicked in the ass by all sorts of empty motivational fodder and marketing department rave-ups, Tribal Knowledge probably won't make much sense to you. You'd be better off reading books with titles like "HOW TO SELL ANYTHING TO ANYBODY" or "GET ON OPRAH and MAKE A $MILLION$ DOLLARS IN ONE (Yes, I said one!) MONTH."

However, if you're genuinely passionate about your offering, whether you're an entrepreneur tinkering in a garage or the CMO of a multinational, this book is for you.

I have a number of clients with passion for their products/services. Actually, most have it. But they don't know what to do with it. Some are embarrassed by their passion, and opt for a straight-laced, too-tight-tie approach. They don't want anybody to think that they're out of control. It wouldn't be very business-like. Then there are the unbridled enthusiasts who overwhelm you with their bubbly chatter, salivate as they babble about their product, and spray your face if you don't roll your chair back a few feet first. Much better to get their drool on your shoes.

Uptight or gushy, these are the people who are often business visionaries.

But being a business visionary and getting your vision off the ground, and keeping it hovering—first over three or four places, then over thousands—are two (or three, or four) very different things.

John Moore tells the story of Howard Shultz and Starbucks, and how the company corralled and funneled its passion (not only for a great cup of coffee but for the experience of a great cup of coffee) into a practical marketing plan. John says that the company kept reinvesting its profits. True. But between the lines you realize that what they really did was reinvest their passion. Over and over. Until … well, you know what happened.

Tribal Knowledge is primary source material. John worked there. He also worked for Whole Foods. These are two companies that created their own industries—not quite out of thin air, but almost. So listen to him.

The Tribal Knowledge Web Site.

Places where you can buy the book.

John's interview with Nettie Hartsock.

John Moore's more famous than my blog blog (and for good reasons), Brand Autopsy.

04 August 2006

Eons Again.

Eons is live.

Although I've blogged about it numerous times, I'm not obsessed with the place. I've never talked to them, although my stats tell me that over the last few months a slew of deep hits to this blog have come from a 'Navy shipyard' in Boston. It took me awhile to figure it out…

It's just that Eons is the first commercial site for Baby Boomers with lots of VC backing (the figure thrown around is 10 mil) - and all of us involved with marketing, advertising, and any type of content targeting this demographic are watching it very carefully. Other sites for Boomers are in the works, so Eon's success or failure will have an effect on more than a handful of current projects.

Eons is getting tons of press, and some blog activity. Many of the articles are making fun of the obit email alerts, with headlines like "You've Got Death" and "Social Deathworking."

What do I think of the place? Let's start with my prediction a few weeks ago: Eons will be a happy-time AARP. I wasn't too far off (minus the death alerts). However, in an earlier post I said this: Jeff Taylor is an interesting, nutty, very bright fellow. Little did I know when I wrote that, that it would also describe the web site. Even better than "a happy-time AARP."

Eons is OK. I'm not put off by it (a good sign). The 'mind games' are fun. My sodden noggin could use more exercise. And I took advantage of the Longevity Calculator. According to this curious mix of medical research, common sense, and voodoo, I'll be twitching and drooling until I'm 84. (Oh, well. I always knew I'd die young.)

However, I'm not convinced that Baby Boomers are looking to network unless there is a specific reason, a real benefit (don't ask me what those reasons or benefits might be - that's a big chunk of how I make my living as a consultant, creative director, and copywriter). I do find most of the content on Eons rather bland. Some content is fine in bland form (medical advice, etc.). But with 10 million bucks I bet they could dig up more creative, lively (even famous) Baby Boomer writers, journalists, and artists to spice it up a bit.

That's what most educated people over fifty are looking for - exciting content, real story-telling (including video).

I also predicted that "Eons has lots of potential." It's still early. We're all hoping that the site is successful. Because if it is, more sites for Baby Boomers will follow.

03 August 2006

Chicago Conference: Beyond The Boomers

I'll be blogging more about this - but for now be aware of a major business conference in October, BEYOND THE BOOMERS: The Transition Years.

Press Release
The conference is directed towards marketers, service providers and those who need to understand the unique psychology, perceptions, needs, issues and behaviors of this now 60+ population.

Presenters will include such national speakers as luncheon presenter, Dr. Ajit Kambil (Global Director, Deloitte Research, Deloitte, LLP), keynoter, Maryellen Molyneaux (President, The Natural Marketing Institute) Michael Gratz, (Director, AARP Market Intelligence Group), Chuck Nyren (author of business best-seller, ADVERTISING TO BABY BOOMERS), Vicki Thomas (author of BANKING ON THE MATURE MARKET), Don Montuori (Editor, Packaged Facts) and Sharon Ray Alt (Principal of Boomer Groups)...
Visit the Beyond The Boomers Conference Web Site. (Lots more to come over there - you're getting a sneak preview.)
WHEN: Friday, October 20, 2006 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
WHERE: Chicago Hilton and Towers, Chicago, IL
I'm wrapping up the morning session. That's the perfect slot for me because I can just keep blabbing and flashing PP slides—and at noon everybody will get up and leave for lunch and I won't have to answer any difficult or embarrassing questions.

I'll post about sponsorship opportunities soon. So far, some of the sponsors are GRAND Magazine, The Natural Marketing Institute, Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com, Paramount Market Publishing, Inc. and SELLING TO SENIORS: The Monthly Report on the 50+ Market.