30 March 2010

Brand Burner and Boomer Basher

image There’s this fellow in England.  A few years ago he wrote a book about burning his clothes because they were famous brands, and wondered if this would cause him to have some sort of identity crisis. He’s an odd chap, as they say.

I’m having the same issues – but for opposite reasons.  I dress in and buy only generic, store brands.  I’ve lost my identity.  Oh, for some Genuine Levi’s®, a packet of Bayer® Aspirin, and a bottle of Heinz 57® Ketchup!  I’d finally feel like myself again.

Back to the brand burner: I guess he needed a follow-up project with another scapegoat – so his new tome trashes Baby Boomers.

I kidded around about boomer-bashing way back in 1997, deciding it was all silly stuff (although ageism isn’t). 
The problem is this: I keep getting emails from people because they’ve read this fellow’s blog promoting his boomer-bashing book – and everyone says he quotes me.

I finally tracked down the alleged quote – and I never said any of it.  Not in my book, not on my blog, not anywhere.

I googled the quote and all I came up with was his blog:

I don’t own the phrase Advertising to Baby Boomers.  I’ve seen it a few places other than my own writings.  But I did coin it in 2003, it’s the name of my book and blog and usually the theme of my speaking/consulting gigs, so I am very much associated with it – like David Wolfe is with Ageless Marketing, Dick Stroud with Age-Neutral Marketing, and Brent Green with Marketing to Leading-Edge Baby Boomers.

To set the record straight – this odd fellow either made up the quote or found it somewhere else – obviously in a place that is ungoogleable. 

That doesn’t mean I haven’t had plenty to say on the subject:

image Me vs. We
Me vs. We Redux
Me vs. We Redux Redux

Len Steinhorn and Brent Green talk at length about this scapegoat phenomenon.  Dick Stroud doesn’t think the chap who wrote the boomer-bashing book really believes what he says.

I hope for his sake that this sad sack doesn’t have any more identity crises. First his clothes go into the bonfire, then copies of his books will for sure – and next he’ll jump in. 
It won’t be pretty. 

But looking on the bright side, at last he’ll finally be rid of the most noxious brand of all – his Personal Brand.

29 March 2010

Meet Us Today

NostraChuckus has never been a big fan of a financial company’s advertising.  He thinks the me-too is likewise quite creepy.

advbb The links above are from 2005, 2006.  In 2007 the updated edition of Advertising to Baby Boomers was released.  Those campaigns were mentioned, and a mock campaign was devised to show how the Near-Great Prognosticator might do it:

In 2010, the Soothsayer sees this:

NostraChuckus Coincidence? Magikal Conjuration?

You decide.

Your Financial Advisor Is Not The Pillsbury Doughboy

27 March 2010

Back From Istanbul: Part Four

image Wrapping up - video and slide grabs from my presentation covering the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia:

United States 











Australia/New Zealand



Special Thanks to Dr. Florian Kohlbacher for sending  advertising and academic material from Japan.











Back From Istanbul: Part One

Back From Istanbul: Part Two

Back From Istanbul: Part Three

26 March 2010

Back From Istanbul: Part Three

istanbulchucksmall A few of the European ads and graphics used in the presentation:

United Kingdom 






















Click graphic: image

imageThe Netherlands




































image_thumb2 Back From Istanbul: Part One

Back From Istanbul: Part Two

Back From Istanbul: Part Four

25 March 2010

Back From Istanbul: Part Two

image I took the attendees on a wild ride around the globe, stopping in the U.K., France, Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Canada, The U.S., Australia, and Japan. We critiqued all sorts of TV spots, web sites, and print ads.

Then we settled in Turkey.

Most attendees were from the country’s thriving, boisterous financial sector. A major concern: Baby Boomers and older in Turkey have not warmed up to online banking and financial services. They make an attempt - but soon become frustrated, returning to their old ways (needless trips to the bank, using mostly checkbooks and snail mail, etc.). They are simply not online.

I couldn’t dig too deeply into hierarchy and usability issues – although I did talk (almost endlessly) about graphic design and how important it is for older eyes. Instead, I offered a bit of motivational marketing.

In the early 1980s, Turkey’s government loosened its (almost total) grip on the economy and freed up manufacturing and banking resources. The economy slowly gained momentum. Today Turkey is an international economic powerhouse.

A gentleman brought up all this during a break. I knew about it, but thought it might be too hot a political potato and decided beforehand not to talk about it. He convinced me to toss it around the room.

My idea: Folks now in their fifties, sixties, and early seventies were the thought-leaders and workers who accomplished this unprecedented economic growth. It’s something they are and should be proud of.

In your advertising/marketing campaigns, make the connection between these economic achievements and the recent growth of the internet. They will feel as if they are not only a part of the technological revolution, but helped make it happen. Their accomplishments are the reasons Turkey is a major player on the world stage.

Of course, you wouldn’t simply say all this. Marketing and advertising creatives would come up with vivid scenarios to tell the story.

Back From Istanbul: Part One

Back From Istanbul: Part Three

Back From Istanbul: Part Four

24 March 2010

Back from Istanbul.

There are 15 million people living in Istanbul – and I think I saw all of them. 

And I met about two dozen of the brightest. 

image My day-long workshop/presentation International Advertising And Marketing Techniques Targeting Baby Boomers went very well.  The graciousness of the Turkish people is unparalleled.  Thanks so much, IMI Conferences.

One truly appreciated email:

Dear Chuck,

First off, thank you for the workshop last Friday, we learnt a lot. I hope your trip in Istanbul went well.

Could you please send your presentations of the workshop along with the ‘word of mouth marketing’ presentation you did at the end of the workshop.

This way, we can share it with our colleagues.

Thanks and regards …

Attendees included marketing executives from Fortis, Anadolu Hayat Emeklilik, Yapi Kredi Bankasi, and IS Bankasi.  

I don’t know what their takeaways were, but here were mine:

  • Turkey is a vibrant, economic powerhouse – especially  the financial sector.  There will be no stopping them (not that you’d want to).
  • A fifty-nine year old can actually stand on his feet and blabber on for eight hours without keeling over and passing out.

Back From Istanbul: Part Two

Back From Istanbul: Part Three

Back From Istanbul: Part Four

15 March 2010

Hire Baby Boomer Creatives

NostraChuckus predicts the future. Again.

It was 2003 when he first divined it:

Advertising to Baby Boomers: Back into the Fold
image The Giant Leap: there had better be a minor revolution in the creative end of the advertising industry. Talented men and women in their late forties and fifties need to be brought back into the fold if you want to reach us. This includes copywriters, graphic artists, producers, directors, and creative directors.

Truth is, you can analyze marketing fodder all day and night, read countless books about marketing to Baby Boomers, attend advertising and marketing conventions around the world, and soak up everything all the experts have to say. Much of what is out there is valuable and useful … But if you plan on implementing a creative strategy and turn it over to a different generation of advertising professionals—you'll forfeit the natural sensibilities required to generate vital campaigns.

Guess what the title of the 1st chapter of NostraChuckus’ book is …


You can download the chapter here.

Three plucks from Advertising to Baby Boomers © 2005:









March, 2010 - NostraChuckus' prediction comes true, as he picks up a new disciple:

Engage: Boomers
image When can you understand what it's like to be an over 50 consumer? Not one minute, hour or day before your 50th birthday. Creating messaging for the 50+ target is no different than creating it for the Hispanic target, the African American target or the gay target; to do it right and well requires experience being a part of that target.

Of course, NostraChuckus always knew it was about diversity:

The Trouble with HR
When I received copies from my publisher, cracked open one, and finished it, I had a minor epiphany.  “This is really a book about HR.”  Kind of a shock, since I certainly didn’t plan it as such.  I’m one of those creative types, not a Human Resources person.
Since then, diversity has become a mantra.

14 March 2010

Off to Istanbul …

For this:

International Advertising/Marketing Techniques Targeting Baby Boomers


Special Thanks to Gill Walker of Evergreen Marketing for emailing me great stuff from Australia, Dr. Florian Kohlbacher for sharing a yet-to-be-released white paper on advertising in Japan, and Maxime de Jenlis of Bayard Presse for shipping copies of Notre Temps and PLUS Magazines from France, The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, and Spain so I could scan ads from all over Europe.

If you can’t make it to Istanbul, you’d better be here instead:

What’s Next? Boomers Business Summit


Plenty of blogging when I return.

03 March 2010

Aging Brain Less Quick, More Shrewd

NPR’s Michelle Trudeau’s intriguing piece:


The Aging Brain Is Less Quick, But More Shrewd
For baby-boomers, there is both good news and bad news about the cognitive health of the aging brain.

image I’ve blogged about Dr. Gary Small a few times (and read two of his books):

My Brain, Your Brain, iBrain

my virtual hand slapped

Your Brain on Games

All this fresh info is now a slide in my presentations, with bullets (and citations):

When sculpting a campaign targeting Baby Boomers, remember …

We are good at:

•  complex reasoning skills
•  anticipating problems and reasoning things out
•  empathy, having the ability to understand the
   emotional point of view of another

But also remember:

•  our reaction time is slower
•  it takes us longer to retrieve information
•  we’re not very good at multitasking (but if you read the  
   research, younger folk aren’t half as good at multitasking
   as they think they are

image Don’t forget to listen to the 3 1/2 minute piece.