25 October 2008

Boomers in Black & White

Sometimes I think advertising odd.

Lately, Baby Boomers are all in black & white.  Here’s a spot for Sprint cell phones – and it’s obviously targeting boomer technophobes (although I’m not convinced that this is a crucial market):

I already talked about this one in a PowerPoint presentation:


  (Click the pic for the video)

A Lipitor spot:


(Again, click the pic.)

Print ads aren’t immune to this ashen epidemic:


I’ll admit that some of the above ads are wrapped in broader campaigns produced in black & white.  Even so …

For many years we’ve been portrayed as immature, vapid middle-aged folks who think we’re still teenagers living in the The Sixties.  Mad Ave’s new take on us is that we’re merely characters in a handful of Woody Allen movies.

18 October 2008

Vibrant Nation & Blyth Times

A few days ago Peter Himler sent me a link to a blog post about VibrantNation.com:

We Don’t Need More Social Networks. We Need More Purposed Social Networks.

vn It’s not a social network where you make friends and share pictures and videos and write on each other’s walls …

My good friend Carol Orsborn is involved with VibrantNation.com:

corsborn The social network for affluent boomer women (generally over 50) launched in January of this year and has been in an advanced beta or quiet stage of growth since. While its membership numbers are still in the “low thousands” according to CEO and founder Stephen Reily, the site is about to hit a fast growth period with the relaunch and some new strategic content efforts, including the addition of Boomer Marketing expert Carol Orsborn as a senior strategist.

NostraChuckus predicted all this, of course.  Here’s a snippet from my book, Advertising to Baby Boomers:

myrna_blyth Yesterday Myrna Blyth emailed me about this and that – and my more-significant-than-I-am other leaned over me, grabbed the mouse, and spent a good fifteen minutes sucked into Myrna’s new blog, Blyth Times

I sent Myrna a link to VibrantNation.com.

Are women over fifty taking over the world???  They seem to be taking over mine …

Update 11/16/08: Read Carol Orsborn’s blog at Vibrant Nation.

11 October 2008

Connecting older people to the world

guardian Technology columnist Victor Keegan of The Guardian has a pretty good take on a few subjects I’ve been talking about for years:

victor_keegan Connecting older people to the world
Reared on rock'n'roll and the Spectrum or BBC computers, they are technically savvy with high spending power. Most have no intention of retiring quietly, a fact that technology companies are only just realising.

Pulled from the cover of the 1st edition of my book (March, 2005):







“Another new (website) aimed at older people is finerday.com, the owners of which have taken trouble to make it easy to use but have spoiled it with an entry procedure that will defeat most older people since it involves having to memorise a pattern of squares within a grid. No thanks.”

Dick Stroud has vetted finerday.com. I left a comment.

jitterbugdance And I’ve talked at length about a certain cell phone.  Here’s Mr. Keegan’s menacing prediction:

“Manufacturers had better turn over a new leaf soon or the wrath of the baby boomers will know no end.”

06 October 2008

Two Reviews

Financial Advertising Review

FAR Trying to reach Boomers? Author zeroes in on the challenges

Paramount Market Publishing, Inc.
, Ithaca, N.Y., has published Advertising to Baby Boomers, a volume of thought-provoking ideas for advertisers who seek to reach this ubiquitous market. Author Chuck Nyren identifies the viewing and reading habits of the 44-to-64 year olds who control an increasingly large proportion of the nation's discretionary spending. He offers examples of how advertising fails in its efforts to reach this demographic - then explains why. The book includes provocative challenges such as this: "If you start telling us why we need something, an impenetrable B.S. shield goes up. We won't listen."

Healthcare Advertising Review

HAR Book has fresh approach to Boomer marketing

Author Chuck Nyren shares his insights about marketing in his book, Advertising to Baby Boomers. This demographic, he says, has needs and interests that require a different style of marketing than do younger age groups. Among his observations: Boomers typically have longer attention spans than younger audiences, and they respond better to factual information than to a "hard sell."

04 October 2008

Growing Bolder Series on PBS

Hi Chuck,
marc I thought you might be interested in our news about the Growing Bolder TV Show. I'm sure you know about the PBS 50+ Life Stage initiative. They decided "to do for 50+ programming what we did for children's programming in the 80's."

I think we have one of the first new shows in the pipeline …
Marc Middleton

This is great. Here’s more:

The Growing Bolder TV Show, featuring local news veterans billMarc Middleton and Bill Shafer, has been picked up by Orlando PBS affiliate WMFE-TV … The show will air weekly at 11:30 am on WMFE-TV beginning Sunday, October 5. Stories in the first few episodes include an exclusive home movie from Rock Hall of Famer Roger McGuinn, a surprising intergenerational showdown in the swimming pool, a look at the family made famous by artist Norman Rockwell, Central Florida’s top philanthropists, "Banana" George Blair attempting to barefoot water ski at age 93, international turtle expert Peter Pritchard, tips on how to live to 100, cancer survivor stories and more.

No doubt that Growing Bolder will be picked up by many other PBS stations.  Underwriters had better be all over this one.

And to think I knew them when …