02 July 2008

Demand for older models grows

Monica Corcoran's piece on The L.A. Times web site is worth the clicks:

Demand for older models grows
monicacorcoran The trend is driven by the $2-trillion spending power of baby boomers -- born between 1946 and 1964 -- who make up 26% of the population. After all, what middle-aged woman wants to buy moisturizer from a model who's too young to order a martini?

While More and Oprah mag ads have used older models for years, the layouts often replaced young models with mature ones - with no real understanding of the target market. That's beginning to change:

"The aspiration in these ads has shifted to having a full, rich life. Open up any Vogue and you'll see models over 35," says John Caplan, president of Ford Models. "In the Rolex ad, you have Carmen Dell'Orefice, and she's in her 70s."

Of course, it's only my dedication to and professional interest in advertising to baby boomers that has me panting, champing at the bit, awaiting this:

PiaGronning In September, J.Crew will introduce an online section within its Web catalog that features 58-year-old Los Angeles model Pia Gronning ... The sundresses will be the same, but the styling will be more age-appropriate and sophisticated.

If I were advising a client about how to position their fashion lines to target/include Baby Boomers, I'd certainly introduce them to Marks & Spencer's campaign in the U.K. An age-neutral approach might work (but not always). Rarely do I see anything like this on our side of the pond: