28 March 2007

The Boomer Century on PBS

There’s a show on PBS tonight titled Boomer Century:
“The Boomer Century: 1946-2046” is a two-hour documentary that looks to the baby boomers’ past for clues to how this generation of 78 million Americans will shape the future.
Of the half dozen or so reviews I’ve read – well, they’re weird. They review Baby Boomers, not the show. Actually, that’s par for the course. The same thing happened with Lenny Steinhorn’s book. A strange phenomenon – reviewing the subject and only making passing references to the book.

Here’s an actual review of the program by Brian Lowry in Variety. I culled a quote that’s perfect for this blog (and, I wish, had been around earlier so I could've included it in my book):
On the down side, scant time is devoted to the manner in which the boomers are discounted and dismissed by Madison Avenue, which has too slowly come to recognize that boomers approach aging differently than any generation preceding them. Given how rarely this disconnect is vented publicly, it seems like a missed opportunity in the near-ad-free environs of PBS.
So enjoy the show. Or hate it. Or use it as a night light. I guess we’ll all find out which it’ll be if we tune in – because it's certainly difficult to tell beforehand by reading most of the reviews.

The Netherland's PLUS Magazine

Back from The Big Apple for a private consulting/speaking assignment. Bayard Presse and Roularta Media flew in 40+ advertisers of their 40+ magazine PLUS - a major player in The Netherlands.

Of course, I was a bit concerned that I'd have to tone down my presentation, speak slowly, that any humor might not translate. Was I ever wrong. These wonderful folk followed me from start to finish - laughing, leaning in, asking questions. In The Netherlands English is not a tossed-off second language, but a requirement in schools.

And the Dutch are friendly, involved, jovial, and (no surprise) keenly intelligent.

I presented first - and for the next few days had lots of rousing huddles and chats with almost all the organizers and attendees.

Actually, I was one of the unofficial organizers, recommending three of the seven speakers: Laurel Kennedy of Age Lessons, John McMenniman (former Nestle/Disney exec and former president of The Advertising Hall of Fame), and John Migliaccio. And I had a few special friends of mine drop by for lunches, dinners, and meetings: Susan Silver, Mary Duffy, and Peter Himler. Peter had some other meetings that came up unexpectedly, so he wasn't around for too long - but Susan and Mary spent lots of time floating around and were appreciated by all.

I also popped in to say hello to Marcia Soling of The Advertising Educational Foundation and hand her a copy of the updated edition of my book.

A very special treat for me: I finally met Dick Stroud - and as a bonus, his beautiful wife Stella. Too bad she's not on this huge billboard in Times Square. She should be.

21 March 2007

Interview on Ronni Bennett's Time Goes By

Thanks to Ronni Bennett for interviewing me on her blog Time Goes By.

It’s no surprise that Ms. Bennett has the number one 50+ blog, what with her professional background in media and journalism. It usually takes someone like that to make a web site interesting and relevant. (I don't even want to tell you how influential Time Goes By is - I'm jealous.)
"...the dean of older bloggers"
- AARP Bulletin

"...the quintessential seniors' blog"
- Senior Bank of Internet

"...the best logo and header of any blog I've seen"
- Jay Rosen, PressThink

"...Ronni Bennett does a great job of demystifying the later years of life"
- Guardian UK
And the comments by Ronni's readers are as fun and vital as her posts. Time Goes By is a true virtual community.

20 March 2007


No time to write about it until I get back from New York. Read this post for now. And after you do, add "Enhancing the lives of Active Baby Boomers!"

Be forewarned. It's scary. With very scary pod people in videos. AND THEY KNOW YOU'RE WATCHING. You get a different video the 2nd time around - then they repeat. (You can't see him - but embedded in this site is the real Cookie Monster.)

After clicking around a bit - I read a copy & paste job from Wikipedia about Louis Armstrong. Of all the phenomenal videos of Mr. Armstrong that they could've YouTubed, these BBPP picked the cheesiest and dumbest one.

The problem with sites like these is that you don't want to scare people our age. We're susceptible to sudden heart attacks.

Back next week.

16 March 2007

Enough with baby-boomer predictions

I haven’t been posting lately for two reasons:

One, I need to complete a couple of projects by next Wednesday – then hop on a red-eye to The Big Apple for a private speaking/consulting assignment. It’s a two-day event for two major media/publishing firms based in Europe. Last I heard, forty-five people will be jumping the puddle to attend.

And two, every time I want to post about something, Dick Stroud beats me to it. It’s no fair. I’m in Seattle, he’s in England – so he’s eight hours ahead of me. I wake up bright and early every morning, scan the news, and if I find a juicy story to write about Dick has already covered it. Scroll through his March posts.

For example, I had the same reaction as Dick to this article:
Enough with baby-boomer predictions
I have a confession. As one member of that massively over-analyzed generation referred to as the baby boomers, I have seen enough of the think-tank studies, marketing campaigns and budgetary projections generated regarding our future … I would rather watch cartoons on Nickelodeon than one more television stint of Dennis Hopper’s beach commercial telling us that we are not living our parents’ retirement. Dennis, after all, at age 70, should more properly be selling to our parents anyway.
And it’s so silly to not be able to run those brilliant Pro-Age spots.

Dick will be in New York for the same event - and while there I'll try to convince him to sleep in from now on. Lying in bed for nine or ten hours is what I need from him - so I can have something to write about every so often.

09 March 2007

2007 Edition of Advertising to Baby Boomers Updated and in Paperback

The updated and revised 2007 edition of Advertising to Baby Boomers is now available - and it's a paperback.

The book launch at The Boomer Business Summit was a major success. Already I've received a handful of emails from readers.

It's available directly from the Publisher - Paramount Books - and should be on Amazon.com and B&N in a few weeks.

Here’s a PDF of the front/back cover.

Odd story about the cover. After seeing the original mock-up I suggested using a Jitterbug - the cell phone that’s being marketed to Baby Boomers (big screen, big buttons). The book designer (the wondrous Anne Kilgore) called the company to ask permission. Jitterbug hemmed and hawed, didn’t get back in time for the print run – never called back.

While talking to my publishers about it all, they told me that another recently published book of theirs had a mock-up cover with something on it that needed permission. When they asked, the marketing director was elated, gave permission immediately, sent Paramount a high-res graphic – and bought two-dozen copies in advance to use for product and company promotion.

Odd, odd, odd. Free publicity, your product out there in places it might not normally be — but no.

However, being the magnanimous sort - here's a picture of their phone.

Read reviews of the book.

March 25 2007 Update: Now available on Amazon.com

06 March 2007

Learn The Secrets of Web Marketing to Older Consumers

50+ marketing guru Dick Stroud will be featured on a Microsoft Office Live Web Seminar this Wednesday:
March 7: Learn secrets of Web marketing to older consumers

Dick Stroud, author of "The 50-Plus Market," will reveal how your company can adapt its marketing to target the increasing number of older people using the Web to transact business. Since older people are one of the wealthiest consumer groups, you won't want to miss this seminar.

Seminar topic: Web Marketing to an Older Market
Seminar date: March 7, 2007
Time: 9:00 A.M. PST
I’ll be working with Dick in a few weeks. We've been booked at a three-day gathering in New York City for two major media and publishing companies in Europe. Executives, advertising/marketing principals, and clients will be flying across the pond (as will Mr. Stroud). I’ll probably post a bit more about it in a week or so. But not much more, since it’s private. Maybe I'll toss up bios of the other consultants and speakers.

Sign up for this very public and very free Web Seminar. If you miss it, my guess is that eventually it will show up as a complimentary download.