26 June 2009

Me vs. We Redux

A colleague sent this email:

Good story today -
This Boomer Isn't Going to Apologize

I did read something about a bunch of pundits apologizing for the recession/depression or whatever we’re going through. Apparently, they think it’s all their fault because they’re Baby Boomers. (Did any generation apologize for The Great Depression? I’ll have to check the history books.  If not, it should.  Some of those evil bastards must still be alive.  Anybody over ninety-eight had better atone.)

This blog gets hits from search terms such as selfish boomers. The googlers usually end up on one of these 2005 posts:

Those Selfish, Money-Grubbing Baby Boomers
Andrea Coombes of MarketWatch has put together a trenchant article about Baby Boomers and their value systems. In this case, it has to do with inheritances … Money is low on the list of what boomers hope to inherit …

Selfless baby boomers switch careers
Kevin Corke of NBC News has put together a short piece about Baby Boomers wanting the second acts of their lives to be more meaningful by finding jobs that are socially responsible. It was prompted by a Princeton Survey Research Associates International study.

Or one from early 2008:

Me vs. We
mevsyou Last week I read a piece of marketing advice: "Baby boomers have always been considered the 'me-generation,' and that doesn't change with age."  It's this type of reckless gibberish that is useless to marketers, and ultimately harmful to their clients.

And there’s a book.

I explained it all way back in 1998:

tootsie1xBaby Boomer Nutrition  People are always coming up to me and asking, "Chuck, why are Baby Boomers so wonderful?"

How rare it is to have an infinite number of correct answers to a single question! One of my standard replies: It has to do with our alimentary intake during adolescence.

Truth be told, I get queasy reading all the bashing and the defending.  I did like this piece, however:

bloom How Boomers Can Change the World (again)
rmkBy Rosabeth Moss Kanter 
World, get ready! The Baby Boomers are becoming the Senior Boomers, and they want to change you again.

So what does all this have to do with advertising?  I’m not sure.  Maybe something, maybe not. A snippet from my book:


More from Matt Thornhill: Blessed or Cursed? Baby Boomers Frequently Unfairly Attacked

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