22 August 2007

Boomers Opt To Keep It Real

Here's a piece by David Graham of The Toronto Star that mirrors a lot of what I tell clients:
Boomers come of age and opt to keep it real
Fad diets are for losers. Bulging biceps are passé. And cosmetic surgery just doesn't cut it anymore … As (Baby Boomers) prepare for retirement, they are quietly reflecting on their obsessive struggles to stay young. And after decades of marathon workouts, killer diets and extreme makeovers, boomers are realizing - it's a sucker's game.
I've bloviated about this before. Many times. And there's a huge chunk about it in a chapter of my book. Here's a bit of it:

And this doesn't surprise me:
What's more, trend watchers are predicting this relaxed attitude among boomers is infecting younger generations … This new common sense revolution is extolling the aging process as a good thing, wrinkles and all.
Good to know that most Boomers would rather spend their time and money so they can feel, look, and be healthy - instead of self-consciously walking around like pod people wrapped in cellophane.

20 August 2007

The Silver Market Phenomenon

I've just finished a chapter for a book due out in early 2008. It's a project spearheaded by Dr. Florian Kohlbacher of The German Institute for Japanese Studies and Dr. Cornelius Herstatt of The Institute for Technology and Innovation Management at the Hamburg University of Technology titled The Silver Market Phenomenon: Business Opportunities in an Era of Demographic Change. Springer Press is the publisher.

This will undoubtedly be the most varied resource of global marketing information and techniques for targeting the 50+ demographic. At least twenty-five (probably more) professionals from around the world will be contributing.

My prediction: The Silver Market Phenomenon will be the perfect companion for Dick Stroud's influential The 50-Plus Market. (And the rumor mills are buzzing with word that Mr. Stroud may be a contributor.)

That's all I know for now. Stay tuned.

17 August 2007

Time to Retire the 'R' Word

Copley News Service columnist Joe Volz had me chuckling with this piece of his:
Time to retire the 'R' word
It's time to retire that infamous "R" word - retirement. At least that's the way it looks to this commentator, who has "retired" and unretired four times … Retirement, by the way, was an irrelevant word for the poor folks who needed to work forever. Now the word is irrelevant for nearly everyone. Many baby boomers, now turning 60, are healthier and want to work forever. Many shift to different kinds of careers … So "retirement" is kind of an inoperative word.
I was saying pretty much the same thing a few years ago:
Contrary to popular myth, Baby Boomers do not believe that they are still teenagers or young adults. (Some probably do, but they need therapy.) Boomers are slyly redefining what it means to be the ages they are. Included in this new definition are some youthful attitudes - but the real change is that instead of winding down, many are winding up. We're not 'looking forward to retirement,' we're looking forward to new lives, new challenges. Only a small percentage will opt for pure retirement. (I predict that in twenty years the word 'retirement' will still be in dictionaries, but followed by the modifier archaic.)
And Joe talks about all those names Baby Boomers (Whoops, there's one!) and everybody else assigns us. A client of mine is GRAND Magazine - and what Joe brings up is a big topic over there:
Even grandparents are trying to rebrand themselves. The Arizona Republic newspaper reports that the image of grandma and grandpa has changed markedly. Actor Will Geer who played Grandpa on the Waltons looked old. Like a grandpa. But blonde bombshell Goldie Hawn has just become a grandma and she calls herself "Glamma."
Joe is having a contest:
Well, let's work on some new vocabulary before some 30-something marketing wizard for a drug company comes up with some cutesy word. Send me your suggestions. Maybe, we can even get the American Society on Aging to change its name.
Thirtysomething marketing wizards. Yeah, I talk about that subject every so often.

14 August 2007

Someone You Should Check Out: Anna D. Banks

I keep bumping into Anna D. Banks as I slog through the virtual ether. Whoever she is, she's always making a lot of sense. And sense of the best kind: intelligent, common sense.

I've bookmarked a half-dozen of her articles, and tried to figure ways to cite her in posts - but nothing ever quite fits.

So I'll simply point you to her stuff.

Here's a good one about Boomers entering the Public Relations field (or they should be):
Baby Boomers make seasoned PRO's

Over the past few years, the public relations industry foundation has been cracked by standards that are less than your archetypal ones .... Unfortunately, these old school practices are so deep-rooted in the PR industry's culture and its antiquated business model that they are difficult to get rid off. So it seems.

But, what if there was a new public relations game? A game as next-generation as the XBOX culture and as stealthy as the Air Force technology? Consider this - baby boomers as seasoned public relations professionals …
It mirrors what I've been saying for years about hiring 'new older blood' - creative, energetic people over fifty who've never been in advertising.

10 August 2007

Boomer Business Conferences in September 2007

September seems to be the time for conferences – certainly ones focusing on the 50+ Market. It’s a bottleneck.

Here’s one in Hong Kong, September 19th-21: Baby Boomers Asia 2007 (PDF)

Dick Stroud and Kevin Lavery will be featured speakers. I was invited to be a featured speaker, but …

Then there’s The Boomers Business Conference in Chicago, September 17-19:
Health & healthcare concerns are shaping Boomers purchase decisions about more than just healthcare; it's financial services, retirement, nutrition, housing and travel and leisure and much more...
Mary Furlong, Brent Green, Richard Adler and a few other folks I know will be speaking. I was invited to speak, but …

And don’t forget The 2007 Cascade Conference on Successful Aging in bounteously beautiful Bend, Oregon. I was invited to speak, but …

Instead I’m leaving Friday, September 14th for a European Business Speaking Tour sponsored by Plus Magazine, Bayard Press, and Roularta Media. Ten days, seven cities:
Stockholm: Monday, September 17
Oslo: Tuesday, September 18
Brussels: Wednesday, September 19
Utrecht (Netherlands): September 20
Munich: September 21
A free weekend in Paris, then …
Paris: September 24
Madrid: September 25
I believe some, most, or all of the engagements are open to the public. Here’s info on the Brussels Conference to give you an idea of what they’re about. Brent Green will be in Chicago, missing Stockholm and Oslo - then meet us in Brussels, continuing on to the other cities. More on all of this later.

And afterwards, a side trip to London for 2½ days. If anybody over there wants to take me and my more-significant-than-I-am other to lunch or dinner or for a warm beer — or let us stay with them and sleep on their couch because hotels are about $800 a night (I'll toss sixpence on the table when we leave) — email me. Better still, if you’re a business and would like me to speak for an hour or two on Wednesday or Thursday …

Hong Kong, Chicago, Bend. They’ll have to wait until next year.

07 August 2007

Jeep Heritage Spot

This Zelig-inspired spot from Jeep is getting some virtual press:


It's fun to watch - but the soundtrack turns it into much less than what it could have been. Why use a pop song from the early Seventies? For some, it will bring back wistful memories and detract from the commercial. Others will say to themselves, "Please don't make me hear that song again …" Younger or older (than Baby Boomers) may never have heard the song - and it will mean nothing to them. The recording certainly has zero to do with the commercial. It was simply slapped under it for no reason whatsoever.

This could have been a classy spot, with classy music. Maybe a Danny Elfman-esque score (or even getting Danny Elfman to compose it). Or maybe they could've used a standard song with a new recording/arrangement, changing musical styles with each era. Something original.

Something like this:

The original soundtrack was rerecorded and became a popular tune on the radio during and after the commercial's run - extending and reinforcing the campaign and brand.

Do you really want me to think of Jeep as some sleepy, old, moldy sports vehicle? The visuals say no, the soundtrack says yes.

06 August 2007

New Issue of Circus Available as PDF

The 4th edition of Millennium Direct's Circus Magazine is now available as a PDF. Good articles in this issue. My review of Marti Barletta's PrimeTime Women is included.

Read more about Circus.

Circus is also helping to promote The International Mature Marketing Network - a loose consortium of companies (call it strategic alliances).

Twiggy. Well, she was cute back then. But I'm older now — and not being a pedophile, I think she's sexier now. (And I bet she probably is.)

02 August 2007

Booming Business

This is quite the colorful page:
Trendwatching.com is an independent and opinionated consumer trends firm, relying on a global network of 8,000 spotters, working hard to deliver inspiration and pangs of anxiety to business professionals in 120+ countries worldwide.
Fun reading, great pics.

Apparently, trendwatching.com has selected everything on this page as "FOREVER TRENDS". They also say that their site is "opinionated" - which is great. So's mine. My opinion is that some of these trends won't be around forever. Like this trend. And here's a trend I certainly hope will happen.

I do agree with one opinion of theirs (other sections of their website/report have to do with women and gays):
"… we assume you understand that to succeed, your team will have to include a number of women, boomers or gays."
That's what I've been saying for the last five years. So far, I don't see it being much of a 'trend'. Too bad.

Dick Stroud has a post you should check out about trendwatching.com. I likewise chuckled at trendwatching.com's caption. It reminds me of this post of mine. Obviously, Reinier Evers has a good sense of humor.

I have no connection to trendwatching.com, know nothing about their $500 report.