25 January 2007

Jimi Hendrix energy drink in works

Jimi Hendrix energy drink in works

The concept is irking some Hendrix fans, many of whom still consider him the greatest guitarist of all time.

"To see his image and the beautiful feelings it has created during my lifetime cheapened by base advertising ... is very disappointing to me," said bassist Michael Balzary, better known as Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Consider me irked.

23 January 2007

Boomers Age with a Bang

Laurel Kennedy of Age Lessons has come up with some fun and slightly wacky - but not necessarily off the mark - predictions for products and services. For entertainment value I culled the wackiest ones - but check out the article for more down-to-earth prophesies:
Traditional retirement-friendly sports such as golf or tennis will get competition from throwbacks from the Beaver Cleaver era. Goofy "retro sports" such as tether ball, flag tag and even hopscotch will re-emerge on the streets and in "micro-developments," with cul-de-sacs dedicated to such activities.
Hopscotch at sixty? That would result in more than just an occasional scraped knee. I'd classify it as an extreme sport. Bringing back sling-shots and pea-shooters would be safer.

A couple of Madam Kennedy's prognostications were previously conjured in the crystal balls of futurists Brent Green and Yours Truly, complemented by the requisite incantations, waving of arms, and swaying of torsos (although for the general public we simply wrote them down in our books so we wouldn't scare anybody). Soothsayer Brent, for example, talked at length about Baby Boomers and their soon-to-be rekindled political and social activism in Marketing To Leading-Edge Baby Boomers, first published in 2003. A second edition was released last year.

18 January 2007

Information vs. Emotion

I'm always hesitant to blog about and link to New York Times articles because:

a) oftentimes you need a (free) subscription to read the piece
b) articles disappear behind the Orange Curtain in a matter of days

I usually wait a week or so to see if the article is picked up by other news outlets - then link to one of those. But this is such a good one - so here goes:
In a Battle of Toothpastes, It's Information vs. Emotion
In a bid to regain the sales lead from its rival Colgate-Palmolive, the Procter & Gamble Company has introduced Crest Pro-Health, which claims to deliver in one tube everything a consumer could possibly want in a toothpaste … New advertising for Crest Pro-Health will feature real people who have tried and liked the product. "We've gotten an unprecedented amount of testimonials from consumers," Mr. Barresi said.

Rather than focus on science, the Colgate Total ads with Ms. Shields use glamour and emotion, a shift from the product's previous campaign, which was centered on its germ-fighting prowess.
Information vs. Emotion and a slew of variants have been argued about since the beginning of modern advertising. While I'm perceived as one of those wacky creatives, to be honest I lean a bit towards the information side of things - especially when targeting Baby Boomers. This is probably because I see so many campaigns that try to appeal to Boomers emotionally - and they screw it up so badly that I roll my eyes and say to myself (because no one else is listening), "Just give me the *&(**&#@ facts."

The Colgate Total and Crest Pro-Health campaigns don't necessarily target Baby Boomers - but if they did, I'd put my money on Saatchi & Saatchi's Crest campaign. After all, we're talking about toothpaste. Just give me the facts.

This is sort of a strange approach for Saatchi & Saatchi. They're the 'show me the love' agency - and they go overboard so many times. Then again, they know what to do with Pillsbury and Cheerios. That's what they're good at. So good for them to toss their Lovemarks "Emotion" philosophy out the window for this one.

I think it will work - at least for Baby Boomers.

17 January 2007

Baby Boomers and The Joy of Tech: Part Two

"Articles (in recent marketing magazines and press releases) inevitably contain the revelation that it is possible to divide older people into strange tribal groups. They are given names like the sophisticated 'Astute Cosmopolitans' and the boring 'Thrifty Traditionalists'. Other than the amusement value, why are consumers … dissected into so many weird sounding segments?" - Dick Stroud, Millennium's Circus Newsletter
"Now that most marketers have realized that today's Boomer Consumers are still worthy of their attention, they are scrambling to find the best segmentation scheme … The problem, of course, is that most segmentation schemes have little or no value to most marketers … Recently we've seen a slew of new segmentation schemes based on research by a variety of organizations. (One) identified five segments with names like Empowered Trailblazers, Wealth-Builders, Leisure Lifers, Anxious Idealists … Another firm identified 24 segments. (Another identified six.)" - Matt Thornhill, Boomer Marketing News
And there are more. I've lost count. It seems that every time a marketing firm decides to specialize in Baby Boomers, we get more "strange tribal groups."

It's quite an odd phenomenon. With tongue firmly in cheek, I warned about this in my book - predicting that eventually they'd come up with 76 million cohorts.

And we're getting closer to that magic number. TV Land has some new ones (scroll all the way down): The Simple Seekers, The American Idolaters, The Mobile Enthusiasts ...

While this isn't directly related to marketing, MSN and the University of Maryland have unearthed even more curious Baby Boomers:
We have The Easy Glider, The Adventurer, The Continuer ...

But here's the best part:
"Schlossberg divides baby boomers into six main types. Some people may fit into more than one category, and over time, people will likely shift from one type of boomer to another."
So if we unpack this ....

All Baby Boomers are not the same, except when they are - and over time they may or may not become a little bit, a lot, or exactly like some, many, or all other Baby Boomers - only different, maybe.

What a big help. Thanks.

There are better ways of slicing and dicing cohorts from raw data than with dubious personality profiling. Such segmentation ends up being an admixture of astrology, psychobabble, and voodoo - having "little or no value to most marketers" except for "entertainment value."

Or so says Anxious Trailblazing Astute Simple-Seeker Easy-Glider Thrifty Adventurer Chuck.

More from Dick Stroud. (But he makes it way too easy.)

16 January 2007

Baby Boomers and The Joy of Tech: Part One

Here's a press release from TV Land:
Having witnessed the tech revolution, Baby Boomers are willing to embrace and purchase today's emerging entertainment offerings … Baby Boomers have the numbers, financial means and desire to create their "digital nest" -- a place where new media technology is employed to create both a personal escape as well as an entertainment hub for family and friends.
As usual, I find it oddly ironic that all these very important marketing reports touting new insights simply back up what I've been saying for years. My book and this blog talk about Baby Boomers not being technophobes and having the money and the interest in new technology.

I wasn't the only one. Brent Green, Matt Thornhill, Dick Stroud, David Wolfe, Ken Dychtwald and others were also talking about it.

When my publishers, the book designer and Yours Truly were working on the layout two years ago, they thought that there should be a big quote from the book on the cover. I didn't want one. I like clean book covers (although I do adore the graphic).

They won - and they were right. Right because it's made this post a lot easier for me. You simply have to click the image on the right and read the results of TV Land/Latitude's survey before the survey was even a glimmer in their eyes.

In 2001, I was hired by a small ad agency to write three or four soft marketing pieces for an audio company's 5.1 surround system's 20-plus page brochure. Remember - this was five years ago - before home entertainment systems had caught on. Consumer big screens had been around for only a few years, sound systems connected to your television were just coming on the market. Part of the pitch was to actually sell the concept of home entertainment systems, of high-tech audio being a big part of your television and movie-watching experience. Today we don't need to do that.

A few weeks ago I was cleaning out my computer and found one piece that didn't make it into the final brochure. I knew Baby Boomers were going to be the major market for home entertainment systems, that they like stories, like to know everything - and I told some good stories. Just for fun: here's the world premiere of one that didn't make it into the brochure:
Foley Artistry
Sounds you don't notice unless they're not there.

15 January 2007

A Few Recent Emails

This post is a bit like that Perry Como Show bit, with the theme song, "Letters. We get letters. We get stacks and stacks of letters." Usually (maybe it was always) they were requests for songs.

But I don't sing. Or get stacks and stacks of emails.
Dear Mr Nyren:
Found your article on "Selling UD to Baby Boomers" extremely insightful, and am wondering where to find the next one on Homebuilders and "aging in place" ...
S. L.
Occupational Therapist & Accessibility Specialist
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Well … I changed my mind and decided not to publish it the web - saving it for the 2nd Edition of my book. But being such a nice guy (or a sucker for flattery), I emailed S. L. the draft of the chapter.
Hi Chuck,
I tagged your great blog today at SavvyHer.com, fyi
- Kare
Compliments will get you everywhere. Check out SavvyHer.com. It's free to join. You can win stuff. And Kare Anderson has an impressive background. I rummaged around the site, but couldn't figure out how she 'tagged' my blog. That's OK. Attractive women tagging me is what I live for - even if I don't know how they do it.
Congratulations! Your blog has been reviewed and is now active in the BlogBurst Network. This means your blog is now discoverable by publishers for selection and exposure to their audiences.
I applied for this a month or so ago. Since then, they've been puttering around my blog. I guess I made the cut. What this means, or how impressive it is, I'm not sure. A link to my blog might end up in a Reuters news story, on washingtonpost.com, and/or on a bunch of other traditional news sites. Who knows. Some bloggers think BlogBurst is great, others poo-poo it. If you have an opinion, let me know.

11 January 2007

PrimeTime Women by Marti Barletta

"With wit and wisdom, Barletta has pulled off the seemingly impossible: made the prospect of becoming an 'older' woman sound like fun. Marketers, take note: a horde of Prime Time Babes, with passion, power, and bulging pocketbooks, is heading your way." — Linda Tischler, Senior Writer, Fast Company
You'll be reading scores more enthusiastic reviews of Marti Barletta's PrimeTime Women: How to Win the Hearts, Minds, and Business of Boomer Big Spenders over the next few months. They'll equal or surpass the ones for her seminal tome Marketing to Women.

Let me first sneak this in: Two and a half years ago, when I signed a contract to write Advertising to Baby Boomers, I froze for a few days. Do I approach this using my 'voice' - the one I've been writing with for most of my adult life - or do I put on a three-piece suit (not that I own one) and attack it as if it were your generic, staid, compose-by-numbers business book? Luckily for me, I had just bought Marketing to Women - and Ms. Barletta's casual, accessible 'voice' seduced me - freeing me to write in my own voice. Thanks, Marti.

PrimeTime Women
is a breeze to read. It's like sitting around with Ms. Barletta, chatting. And in the room are dozens of fascinating, ready-to-rumble women, chiming in every so often.

The overarching theme of PrimeTime Women really isn't the money they control - it's the fact that they are taking control of their lives. This is a phenomenon unique to Baby Boomers (and a bit older). After fifty is better than before fifty. There has always been a small percentage of women who bloomed in their later years. For Boomers it's become a generational ethos.

I've talked about this in my book (and there's more about it in the 2nd Edition - due out in a few months), in my blog, in articles. So have others. But Ms. Barletta elegantly unpacks this sociological phenomenon. She's done it better than any of us. As far as the 'phenomenon' - personally, I love it. Part of the legacy of Baby Boomer women will be passing on this ethos to younger generations.

From the wonderful world of advertising, a good example of this is the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty. I've blogged about it. Ms. Barletta dives into it and shows you how and why it works.

The second part of the book is nuts 'n bolts. I was swept away by many of her "word-of-mouth" marketing paradigms. She eschews the cheesy WOM tactics so often used today in favor of real, truly inspired marketing/PR/promotional techniques.

There are hundreds of great quotes in PrimeTime Women (read it with your yellow highlighter handy) - but if I had to pick my favorite:

PrimeTimers are not compelled to make social statements by their brand choices, and PrimeTime Women are no longer controlled by the need to have perfect looks and perfect behavior … Looking for the long-submerged "secret self" is also about listening to one's own counsel rather than listening to others. PrimeTimers are more individuated, more autonomous, and less influenced by peers and celebrity endorsements.
The takeaway for me: I learned a ton, enjoyed the experience of hanging around a bunch of intelligent, creative, energetic, forward-thinking women. Even a few creative sparks went off as I read - ad concepts for my clients.

I can honestly say that from cover to cover, I agree with ninety-five percent of what's in PrimeTime Women. And that's quite amazing if you think about it. What book do you agree with one-hundred percent, believe that it's one-hundred percent true? (Jerry Falwell, don't answer that.)

Marti Barletta, DDB, and all the PrimeTimer contributors: Thanks for this book.

05 January 2007

Millennium's 50+ Marketing Mag Now A Free Download

Millennium Direct is offering their Circus Magazine as free PDFs. Click the Circus graphic when you get there.
Welcome to Circus, our B2B newsletter that’s designed to stimulate ‘mature thinking’. With contributions from experts in the industry, our aim is to debate and discuss mature issues, to be at times controversial but above all, entertaining and fun.
I posted about Circus awhile ago - and about their Executive Creative Director Kevin Lavery.

In issue 2 there's an article by guess who. A fresh one is slated for issue 3.

You really should download and distribute these glittering pieces of ether. Good writing and commentary, fun graphics - all about the 50+ Market. Dick Stroud, Gill Walker and Reg Starkey are regular contributors.


Update 1/12/07: Here's an interview with Kevin Lavery. Scroll a smidge and he talks about Circus:
The response from clients, suppliers and prospects has been fantastic with many saying that the articles bring the whole debate to life as opposed to just looking at boring old statistics.
Sounds like he's also describing my book. Maybe that's why he liked it.

03 January 2007

BoomerGirl.com

Here's a group email I sent out to my media/marketing/advertising friends:

Hi Folks,

After making a bunch of snotty predictions in my blog yesterday, it seems as if one of them has come true. I found an article about a web site -- and the web site knocked me out:

http://boomergirl.com/

And most of you know how much I disdain most web sites for Baby Boomers.

It looks pretty good, is easy to navigate, has quirky, interesting graphics and articles. For some reason, I'm having problems playing the videos.

It's a web site with a personality. Yeah, the lead articles are standard fare topic-wise - but dig deeper into the collection of articles/blogs.

Remember, it just went up a few days ago - so we'll see where it goes from here.

The article: http://www.tonganoxiemirror.com/section/local/story/10138

And for the sharks out there - even though you smell blood, this isn't an invitation to circle. The person behind it all is a marketing exec for a newspaper company - so she probably has big, razor-sharp teeth of her own.

Tell me what you think.

Chuck



And Dick Stroud has already blogged about BoomerGirl.com. (But that's not fair, since he's in England - eight hours ahead of me.)

Watch a video about BoomerGirl.com

Predictions for 2007

Three prophesies from NostraChuckus.

One: Media will take seriously the need for relevant content that will appeal to people over forty-five. It's the end for boring, generic magazines and nothing sites.

Marc Middleton's Active Living Network is primed for big changes and tons of content - stories, videos, interviews and more. I know about some of the offerings. The new site should be up in February or March.

And we're still waiting for Mindy Herman's MyTime.com.

Here's an article about More Magazine. What interested me was this:
At 52, (Peggy) Northrop is a spot-on spokesmodel for More … She calls herself a "late bloomer," even though her high-powered resume suggests otherwise. "I blossomed after 40," she says. "Until then, I was diffident about my career …"
This is getting to be a typical story - a woman hits her stride after forty. No surprise to me. Look for them and hire them.

Grand Magazine is also in transition. Within a year it will become a top Baby Boomer life-style magazine:
Christine Crosby, founder and editorial director of Grand, says the magazine began two years ago as "an effort to speak to baby boomer grandparents like regular people." ... Boomers, she says, are impatient with ageism and stereotypical ideas about grandparents. The magazine's readers see grandparenting as "exciting new territory" and want help navigating it.
I blogged about GeezerJock - it seems like years ago. It's still going strong.

But it ain't all brawn, because ...

Two: Get Ready for lots more Brain Games. I've written about these before - but Brent Green really has a handle on the industry.

An editorial in the New York Times:
If you're worried that your mental powers will decline as you age, a new study offers hope that a relatively brief flurry of brain exercises can slow the mind's deterioration.
An article originally in the New York Times:
Science is not sure yet, but across the United States brain health programs are springing up, offering the possibility of a cognitive fountain of youth … From "brain gyms" on the Internet to "brain-healthy" foods and activities at assisted living centers, the programs are aimed at baby boomers anxious about entering their golden years and at their parents trying to stave off memory loss or dementia.
Also check out the new blog Brain Boomers.

Three: The Death of Flogs. I blogged about flogs recently.

And don't even ask. Of course (!!!) I'd be more than delighted to blog about Vista and how great it will be for Baby Boomers.

So where's my shiny new laptop? (Actually, I'd prefer a desktop.) I'm not too far from the Microsoft Campus. I could swing by, roll down the window, and you could just toss it in my car.

Can I get it with Office 2007? The Professional Plus Edition?