29 November 2009

Senior market is complex, lucrative

I get a big kick reading pieces like this:

Senior market is complex, lucrative
by Nick Iannone
image Nowadays, advertisements for scooters and mobility chairs, walk-in bathtubs, slip-and-fall security devices, hearing and vision aids, as well as pharmaceuticals treating anything from incontinence to ED have a tendency to assume advanced age as an integral part of the scenario. And, although statistics were used extensively in these ad formulations, trying to pigeonhole the senior market in the new millennium is marketing suicide.

It’s not that there’s much new here.  I’ve talked about most of what’s in the article in my book, this blog, during presentations and seminars.  The fun part is knowing that Mr. Iannone, who works for a marketing/printing firm, is on the front lines of a revolution that I predicted years ago.  Culled from Advertising to Baby Boomers ©2005, 2007:

image I’m proposing a minor revolution in the advertising industry, one that won’t trickle down but bubble up. It’s not a technology driven revolution. It’s a human one.

Secondary: Small-to-medium-sized advertising and marketing agencies.  They may squirm at first, even kick and scream—but eventually will be co-beneficiaries of this common sense revolution. Some may become the heroes and heroines of this reasoned paradigm.

More from the book:


The Preface, Introduction, and first chapter of Advertising to Baby Boomers are available as free downloads on Scribed:

Preface and Introduction

Chapter One

Bookmark and Share

23 November 2009

We have seen the future, and it is old and cool and wise.

I’ve been doing a bit of research about business etiquette and such in a country where I may be hosting a conference/workshop early next year. 

Not that I’m going to memorize dozens of customs and trip over myself.  I’m sure they’ll want me to be myself (and that’s what they’ll be getting anyway whether they like it or not).

imageBut some knowledge of cultural etiquette is expected. From what I’ve read, it’s  impolite to point at people – and I might have to wear a tie.  I hope I can remember how to tie one …

One custom intrigued me: When you enter a room full of people you do not know, approach the eldest person first and introduce yourself.

Golly, gee. I spend half my working life trying to convince advertisers to not only introduce themselves to people over fifty – but to actually acknowledge their existence.

This might change.  Matt Thornhill thinks so:

We Have Seen The Future, And It Is Old image
Have you seen the advertising campaign for Dos Equis beer featuring "The Most Interesting Man in the World?" Each commercial depicts exploits from the "interesting man's" past, or he offers insight on a particular topic …

When I first saw the spot, I thought it was merely a throwback to David Ogilvy’s Hathaway Shirt and Schweppes campaigns:




Of course, I’m right.  But Matt makes some good points:

But what's after "cool?" Actually, something even more desirable for those ever-growing-older Boomers: the mantle of wisdom … Boomers will forever transform the role of older people in America. We will be seen as assets -- heroic, wise, visionary, inspirational.

I’ve talked about this, as have others:

Me vs. We Redux Redux
image Today, Baby Boomers are two or three times removed from being a “me” generation. What constitutes self-actualization when you are twenty-five is different than when you are fifty-five. In your twenties a person thinks they are the picture. As you get older, you see yourself more and more as a picture that is part of a bigger picture.

Talk to some folks in their twenties, thirties. They are now in that ‘me’ stage. It’s healthy, smart for them to be so. I was just like them thirty years ago, get a big bang out of them, admire their boundless creativity, energy – and self-obsession. These ‘me generation’ twentysomethings today will become a ‘we generation’ in thirty years.
Page 171, Advertising to Baby Boomers (c) 2004, 2007 by Paramount Market Publishing

From The New York Times:

Older Brain Really May Be a Wiser Brain
image When older people can no longer remember names at a cocktail party, they tend to think that their brainpower is declining. But a growing number of studies suggest that this assumption is often wrong.

Instead, the research finds, the aging brain is simply taking in more data and trying to sift through a clutter of information, often to its long-term benefit.

imageI hope Mr. Thornhill and the rest of us are on to something.  Of course, we’ll have to “sift through the clutter” first, and if we’re lucky we’ll come up with something approaching wisdom.

And – if I agree to do this presentation and workshop, I can always buy a clip-on.

20 November 2009

My Ad Council

From: Hilary R.
Sent: Thursday, November 19, 2009 1:24 PM
To: nyrenagency@gmail.com
Subject: Tina Fey + Social Media + Social Good + Innovation = My.AdCouncil.org

Hi Chuck,

image Wanted to put something on your radar that was unveiled last night by Tina Fey at the 56th Annual Public Service Awards Dinner - The Ad Council's “My Ad Council.”

... I've included the press release that went out this morning below:

imageAd Council Unveils New Website
Through My Ad Council, users can quickly and easily share the Ad Council's PSA videos and images via social media platforms.

OK – I guess I’m doing that now.

Mostly excellent work from some top agencies.  Great to see them pitching in.  I liked this one from kbs+p:

Even though “The Ad Council's campaigns are targeted to Americans of all ages” – I really didn’t get the impression that any of the spots specifically targeted an older age demo. (Oh, yeah – that’s probably because Baby Boomers are perfect and we don’t need to see Public Service Announcements.)

Actually, I’d like some PSA’s urging Boomers to volunteer for this or that.  Lots already are, and lots more would with some coaxing.

One more I liked from Draftfcb – puts a goofy spin on serious subjects:

Visit my.adcouncil.org and pass along some videos.

19 November 2009

Interactive Guide to Baby Boomer Marketing/Advertising Goes Copper

imageI made that up. 

On Scribed, my free Interactive Guide to Advertising/Marketing to Baby Boomers now has over 1000 downloads.  If it ever reaches 5000, I’ll scream that it “Went Nickel” – whatever that’ll mean. 

To help the cause, click:
An Interactive Guide to Baby Boomer Marketing/Advertising News & Resources

image And as I type my book has shot up from #5 to #3 on my publishers’ Bestsellers List. Don’t blink or you’ll miss it.


What should I do for an encore?  Probably just rest on my wobbly laurels.

18 November 2009

No News News Redux

I’m one of the few bloggers to take pride in bringing you no news news.  I’ve been offering my readers no news news for years:

No News News
image If any of this surprises you.....
Culled from a report by Jupiter Research, Internet Retailer reports Baby Boomers spend more online than other age groups.

Another Same Old, Same Old 

image 6.06.2008

The Crystal Ball of Common Sense

The Same Old, Same Old Redux

How Well Do You Know Boomers?

No News News

image Now there’s more no news news (and it’s not news for two reasons – the first being that Dick Stroud gets up eight hours earlier than I do):

Today’s Seniors and Boomers Rival Younger Generations in Online Activities
Boomers are tech-savvy and just as likely as the younger generations to own a digital camera, DVD player and cell phone.


Sounds familiar:

My Favorite Cyber-Myth
How I snicker and roll my eyes whenever I read about Baby Boomers fumbling around on computers, scratching their heads, totally flummoxed.

From my book (© 2005):


Come back regularly.  You can always count on me to bring you the newest of whatever’s not news.

15 November 2009

Chronologically Gifted

image I was thumbing through (for those too young to know what that means – it’s sort of like web browsing) the print catalog, Signals.

They know their market.  Almost everything would appeal to Baby Boomers – and these are the folks who’d still be getting the catalog in the mail.

Even smarter: While they have dozens of T-Shirts & Sweats available on their online catalog, the ones picked for the print versions are the ones that would appeal to Boomers.

And they know what’s on the minds of this demo – age discrimination.  That sounds rather serious (it is), but the casual clothing offered is fun, tongue-in-cheek stuff – and that’s great.  Even ol’ curmudgeon Chuck laughed out loud at this one:

The digital revolution has done its job with me (and millions of others) – but a big chunk of Boomers and older are still hanging on:








One or both of these pretty much says it all for a lot of Boomers:









But we’re also making sure nobody thinks were giving up or stopping - because there's more to do, and we have plenty of time and energy left to do it:



13 November 2009

Henry Stewart Talks: Citations

From: A___ 
Sent: Thursday, November 12, 2009 5:19 AM
To: nyrenagency
Subject: Henry Stewart Talks: Citations

Dear Chuck,

image I am writing to update you on citations for talks appearing within The Marketing and Management Collection (www.hstalks.com/go).

The Marketing and Management Collection, of which your talk forms part, is used as an educational resource by academic institutions and commercial organizations worldwide. Following both customer and speaker feedback we have generated citations for every talk in the collection to enable speakers and viewers to reference the use of talks in their academic and commercial endeavours. These citations appear on each individual talk page.

image We have also recently created direct links to every talk in the collection which you might wish to place on your website alongside references to your other published works. The link will provide access to the first five minutes of the presentation. The full citation and the direct link to your talk appears below.


Stroud, D., Walker, G., Nyren, C. and in’t Veld, A. (2009), "How the older market is evolving internationally", in Stroud, D. (ed.), Latest Thinking in Marketing to the Older Consumer: Marketing techniques to target the fastest growing population demographic, The Marketing & Management Collection, Henry Stewart Talks Ltd, London.

Once again, many thanks for contributing to the Henry Stewart Talks series on “Latest Thinking in Marketing to the Older Consumer”.

Kind regards,
Henry Stewart Talks
Russell House, 28-30 Little Russell Street
London, WC1A 2HN
Website: www.hstalks.com

Makes me feel like I’m an Oxford Professor or something …

Dr. Gene D. Cohen

Over the weekend I heard through the grapevine that Dr. Gene D. Cohen had passed away.

Colleague Brent Green knew him, and crafted a tribute:

imageIn Memoriam: Dr. Gene Cohen, A Creative, Thoughtful visionary For Boomers and All Aging Generations 
For those in business and marketing, Dr. Cohen’s research and clinical observations provide exciting new insights into aging, while creating vast opportunities for new products and services and reframing outdated societal myths.

Here’s a short piece by Dr. Cohen that touches upon much of his research:

A New Perspective on Sustaining and Increasing Learning Capacity With Age
image Postformal thought itself often results in new learning strategies, novel insights and creative problem solving. It allows us to examine in new ways information we have had or situations we have been in for some time, bringing new perspectives and understanding into our awareness. In this sense, it can promote creativity with aging -- bringing something new into existence that is valued. It can lead to new breakthroughs in thinking -- not despite aging, but because of aging.

The mainstream press wasn’t jumping all over Dr. Cohen’s passing.  I wondered why.  I’m still wondering why. But finally:

Gene D. Cohen, Geriatric Psychiatrist, Dies at 65
image His outlook was optimistic, which he conveyed in books for general audiences. As research in the 1990s began to show that the brain was less susceptible to being ravaged by age than had previously been thought …

imageThe Washington Post now has an obituary:
"The magic bullets are all blanks," he said in 1998, advising people to rely on "intellectual sweating" instead of pills and herbs for good mental health. "Make it a point to learn something new, instead of turning to hormones or ginkgo biloba."

Although the medical establishment tended to treat aging as a disease when he started his career, Dr. Cohen found that the later adult years can be a time of great creativity.

In 2006 I blogged about Dan Pink and David Galenson and what they were saying about this subject:

What Kind of Genius Are You?
A new theory suggests that creativity comes in two distinct types - quick and dramatic, or careful and quiet …

More from the NYT:

Older Brain Really May Be a Wiser Brain

Goodbye, Dr. Cohen.  Hello, all his accomplishments.

11 November 2009


RT @CreatingResults: Marketing to Veterans As a Subgroup of Mature Consumers: http://bit.ly/40oZGdimage


Veterans are well-educated and place great value on learning.

GIBillStampThe “Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944” – more popularly known as the GI Bill – was one of the most popular and transforming government programs of the 20th century.

09 November 2009

A Potential Boom from Baby Boomers: Universal Design & Aging in Place

For advertising folk, one of the most useful attributes of the internet is being exposed to online trade mags – ones you’d probably never see otherwise.  With a new client, or if you’re pitching, you need to find founts of knowledge fast.

I’ve been quoted in a few trade mags I’d never heard of until they contacted me:

image Boomers in Candyland

Boomers Beyond: Marketing to a 50-Plus Audience

Savvy sleep that knits the ravelled sleeve of care.

While fiddling with the ether today, I happened upon this piece in Kitchen & Bath Design News:

Look for a Potential Boom from Baby Boomers
DPH Perspectives
By Melissa Allen
image Where can boomers turn for help with customizing their homes so they can stay where they are? Big-box stores offer deep inventories and economies of scale, but don’t provide carefully chosen collections of truly outstanding products or the expertise to help boomers combine products and solutions to meet age-related needs.

image… Boomers want knowledgeable and trustworthy professionals they can work with in upgrading their homes, and they’re worried that they won’t be able to find them.

This spells opportunity for our industry.

First I had to figure out what DPH meant. Wikipedia was no help.  With some scrolling and deep deciphering, my incredibly big brain finally got it: Decorative Plumbing & Hardware.

More from the article:

“In our showroom, we’ve found that semantics are as important as the products themselves. References to limited mobility or handicapped products are not well received by this generation. Sales professionals need to understand the importance of nomenclature. They need to emphasize that these products add beauty, safety and enhanced functionality,” Miller says.

Aging-in-place products are becoming more attractive. For instance, grab bars were once very utilitarian looking. “Now, grab bars come in multiple finishes and styles, and different lengths and widths, and can be high end as well as basic,” Miller says. “All of a sudden, we’re able to provide people with products that don’t remind them that they’re getting older. We’re not only able to provide safety, we’re able to provide safety in beautiful products.”

That sounds like a chapter in my book:


I’ve updated the chapter and put together a PDF about Universal Design/Aging in Place and advertising to Baby Boomers.  Click here to download.

A previous post with some good links:

UD, Aging in Place, and My Dumb Noggin

Bookmark and Share

06 November 2009

Television, Movie, Pop Stars Least Persuasive

Sort of an interesting survey (for two reasons) by Harris Interactive and Adweek Media:

imageBusiness Leaders Considered Most Persuasive in Ad Endorsement (PDF)
The issue of celebrity endorsements is something a number of companies grapple with as they are planning their advertising campaigns … One quarter of those aged 18-34 (23%) say television or movie stars are most persuasive while only 15% of those aged 55 and older feel the same way.

Sort of interesting survey reason #1:

I’ve talked about this for years when advising clients about reaching Baby Boomers.  In an online presentation a year ago there’s a section all about celebrity endorsements.  I used Liberty Medical as an example of a company that (at the time) needed to update its image. The section is about 19 minutes in:

Two graphics from the above presentation:







So you don’t have to sit through it, basically I say that it would be a mistake to find a ‘new’ Wilford Brimley. 

Sort of interesting survey reason #2:



Odd that Harris Interactive would stop delineating demos after age 55, as if all people over that age are the same: simply old

Of course, this myopia is nothing new:

The Jitterbug Phone
The real issue: Marketers assuming that if you're over fifty you're automatically a member of one and only one age demographic - all with the same needs and wants.

Bookmark and Share