18 August 2008

Erickson Retirement Communities Spot

I must still be young and mushy of mind, for I’m constantly surprised by the shenanigans of marketers when they try to target the 50+ Demo. By now nothing should surprise me.

je Erickson Retirement Communities is a major player in their industry. I have a lot of respect and admiration for John Erickson. He's done some incredible things. And I like the fact that Erickson builds communities for the middle-class - while not ‘going for the gold’ like so many AACs.

But their marketing/advertising is pretty pathetic. That might just do them in eventually – especially with Baby Boomers.

Take a look at this latest spot:

Now try this exercise:

Turn the sound off and watch the spot again. Pretend that the voice over is saying something like, “Your financial security is important to you. At Ajax Investments we want to make sure that you have the freedom to enjoy the prime of life and do the things that are important to you, with no financial worries … blah blah blah.”

Now pretend that this is a D2C for a heart medication. “Enjoying a healthy, involved life is what life is all about. If a heart condition inhibits your activities, Ajaxavin may help. Please ask your doctor if Ajaxivin is right for you, blah blah blah.”

How about a laxative? Depends? A vitamin supplement? Come up with other products/services and write and perform your own V.O.’s.

This isn’t a commercial about Erickson. It’s a generic template.

Back to the spot: The voice over is a what? A daughter with kids? There aren’t too many Baby Boomers with kids that young. The largest chunk of Boomers are grandparents. The average age of a new grandparent is forty-eight.

So who's this woman doing the voice over? How old is she (with kids that young)? The child of Baby Boomers? If so, then why are her parents in their seventies? The grandfather looks like he's in his late seventies.

It’s the Baby Boomers who are helping their parents make decisions about retirement communities. This commercial misses the ‘sandwich generation’ by decades.

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