30 June 2010

A Television Station Targeting Baby Boomers

England will soon have a TV station targeting The 50+ Market:

image Vintage TV

Hosts on Vintage TV (who will include Paul Gambaccini, Debbie Harry and Rick Wakeman) will serve up a variety of music, films and shows.

image The channel has caught the attention of advertisers, and music companies are keen to exploit their lucrative back catalogues. As well as music videos, Vintage will feature classic musicals and films with strong music content …

In France they’ve had something like that for a few years – although it’s more today than yesterday:

Over here we have … well, I won’t mention them.  I have enough enemies. 

It would be interesting to find out how Vintage TV might fare on this side of the pond. Cable outfits and smart media execs - keep an eye on it.

As usual, more from Dick Stroud.

28 June 2010

The Silver Market Phenomenon 2010: Update

First post:

The Silver Market Phenomenon 2010 Edition On Schedule

Now more information (PDF):

The Silver Market Phenomenon 2nd Edition Flyer


Due Autumn 2010
The current shift in demographics – aging and shrinking populations – in many countries around the world presents a major challenge to companies and societies alike. One particularly essential implication is the emergence and constant growth of the so-called “graying market” or “silver market”, the market segment more or less broadly defined as those people aged 50 and older.

image This book offers a thorough and up-to-date analysis of the challenges and opportunities in leveraging innovation, technology, product development and marketing for older consumers and employees. Key lessons are drawn from a variety of industries and countries, including the lead market Japan.

• State-of-the-art innovation, product development, and marketing for aging customers

• Real-life examples from countries with a large "silver market" such as Japan and from leading companies

• Second edition: 9 chapters replaced by new ones, complete update of the remaining content, with a stronger focus on marketing and innovation issues

image From an in‐depth global overview of the mature market, through design and product development for older consumers, to the marketing implications, this book has it all. With contributions from experts around the world, the book recognises that population ageing poses great challenges to industrialised and developing countries alike. Its well researched attention to detail means The Silver Market Phenomenon is a ‘must have’ for both practitioners and academics. – Kevin Lavery, Managing Director, Millennium, Founding Member and President, International Mature Marketing Network (IMMN), UK

More from Dick Stroud.

25 June 2010

Nielsen Three Screen Report

The Ad Contrarian tipped me off to this one.

Nielsen Three Screen Report
image Nielsen’s first quarter Three Screen Report – a regular analysis of video viewing and related consumer behavior in the U.S. – reveals that Americans continue to view video at a record pace.

Each week, the typical American continues to increase his/her media time, watching over 35 hours of TV, 2 hours of which is timeshifted TV, 20 minutes of online video and 4 minutes of mobile video, while also spending nearly 4 hours on the Internet.

Reminds me of a recent post: Spending goes where the eyeballs are.

And there was a big dive into the Kool-Aid (I mean, Cola) this week:

Coke gets 85 million ad views in 24 hours.

Well, that’s great. The second sponsored ad on Twitter.  A novelty.  A 6% click rate. Compared to the usual 0.02% for old-hat online ads. (Why can’t marketers get with it? Banner ads? They’re so yesterday.)

I can’t wait for tomorrow when my whole Twitter page will be filled with sponsored tweets. I’ll click all of’em, all the time.

23 June 2010

Where people already aren’t.

Stolen from Dick Stroud:

image Using social media to target Baby Boomers
Maybe it is just me but I cannot extract anything of meaning from this interview.

Maybe it is just me, but I think this stacks up with some of the best routines of Abbott & Costello, Mel Brooks & Carl Reiner … Actually, it’s more like Carl Reiner interviewing The Professor.

The scary part is that this isn’t just some fellow passing himself off as a Social Media Guru.

Remember the nutty popularity of logo T-Shirts in the 1980s? 


I was told back then that this was the end of advertising. No more print ads, television or radio spots … Who needed them when everybody you met was a walking billboard? 

Logo T-Shirts are still around – but so is advertising, last I looked.

That video interview … I think I said something similar in a 1996 post, but I’m not sure because I’m not sure what this fellow said. You tell me if I said what he said:

The Brouhaha Over WOMM
image So your product or service is getting some sort of positive response from users/consumers? Maybe a cult is forming. Or something. People are talking.

Take advantage of this. You'd be stupid not to. Bring in the PR professionals, the marketing people. Reference it in advertising campaigns. Support this grass roots excitement.

But trying to create buzz out of nothing?

Along with passé WOMM, Marketing/Social Media prattle is now a comedy sketch:

The Social Media Guru

21 June 2010

Silver Market Phenomenon 2010 Edition On Schedule

From: Florian Kohlbacher
Sent: Thursday, June 17, 2010 5:39 PM
Subject: The Silver Market Phenomenon Book, 2nd Edition 2010

Dear Author,
It is our pleasure to inform you that the second edition of the Silver Market Phenomenon is right on schedule and has entered the production process at the publisher side. We expect publication according to plan this fall (October/November) …

Thank you and best wishes,
Florian Kohlbacher

imageThe authors (including yours truly) have updated their chapters.  There will also be a handful of new contributors and chapters. 

1st Edition (2008):

The Silver Market Phenomenon

Publishers site: The Silver Market Phenomenon

17 June 2010

Still Getting Hits: 2005

imageWhether due to malfunctions of the ever-changing, amorphous Google Algorithms or simply the slapdash nature of web search, many of my creaky posts still get hits. Some, lots.

And my site meter (that ubiquitous rainbow-ish thing) always surprises me. People search for the darndest things.

Although I’ve been ‘blogging’ since 1996, this one hatched in 2005.  From that year, some of the still popular posts (make that popular by long-tail standards):

Wrap Rage
In the last month, two clients have consulted me about packaging and Baby Boomers. It's a hot topic.

Those Humdrum Empty Nesters
Stuck in their ways. Refuse to try new things, change brands. Why target them???

imageRubbing yourself and smiling.
I first saw The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty as a series of print ads (was it in the Oprah mag?) and loved it. No doubt about it — real beauties. The women exuded intelligence, confidence, sensuality.
(New link: Does Reality Sell Beauty?)

Selfless baby boomers switch careers
I guess I've just hung out with too many friends who've always had altruistic goals, altruistic lives, and didn't pile up the dough …

The Three Ages of Advertising Slavery
I saw Hugh MacCleod's cartoon posted a few days ago and it cracked me up.

No News News
Imagine if a company decided to truly target Baby Boomers, if their site was truly boomer-friendly, if Baby Boomer creatives actually designed the site, wrote the copy... imagine how this product or service would break away from the pack...

image Marketing to young people is fun!
You get to talk about cool ideas and hot fads and pretend you can actually predict what the next trend will be!

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.

Maybe I’ll do 2006 sometime.

16 June 2010


Peter Himler tipped me off to this – and I don’t know what to make of it:

Father of MTV launching new property
image … Bob Pittman is slated to launch his new digital venture, PureWow.com, at the end of the summer. Pittman's partners on the site, which will target the crossover between Gen X and Baby Boomer females, include Whoopi Goldberg, Lesley Stahl, Candice Bergen and Lily Tomlin.

Sounds like fun – but there’s already a popular site with almost the same name and all the same celebrities:


wowOwow is a free daily Internet website created, run and written by Lesley Stahl, Peggy Noonan, Liz Smith, Joni Evans, Mary Wells, Sheila Nevins, Joan Juliet Buck, Whoopi Goldberg, Julia Reed, Joan Ganz Cooney, Judith Martin, Candice Bergen, Lily Tomlin, Jane Wagner, Cynthia McFadden and Marlo Thomas.

imageWow. I don’t get it.

Not to worry.  I’m sure Liz Smith will sort it out for us sooner or later …

15 June 2010

NostraChuckus Scoops New York Times

A blog post stamped May 21, 2010:

1643-mona-lisa-blink-smile-frown We’re all miserably happy, or …
While it’s usually a mistake to assume that Baby Boomers are all the same, in this case it must be true: We’re all happy and miserable.

The New York Times, June 11, 2010:

image In Midlife, Boomers Are Happy — and Suicidal
In recent weeks, researchers reported that Americans in midlife are a remarkably contented lot, and that they also have the highest rate of suicide.

image NostraChuckus is thrilled to be able to predict news stories weeks before the New York Times. He might kill himself because he never gets the credit he deserves.

Spending goes where the eyeballs are.

Not a big surprise:

image TV, the ‘Old Medium,’ Holds Its Own in an Ad Spending Recovery
“Many big advertisers remain loyal to television,” said Vincent Letang, an analyst a Screen Digest. “At the end of the day, it’s about audience. Despite all the hype about digital growth, spending goes where the eyeballs are.”

Then factor in this: New Media technology is getting smaller, not bigger. Eyeballs are squinting:

image That silly retronym “traditional advertising” will remain the premiere force for introducing people to a product or service, along with sustaining its shelf life. Television, print, radio, and billboard ads will continue to have the visceral power they’ve always had – if only for their sheer size, simplicity, and cutting-edge audio/visual qualities.  Advertising on smartphones will be considered an annoyance, invasive, and rather dinky – while marketing (coupons on steroids, and more) will flourish and dominate.

Ad space? Matchbook covers are bigger.

And television outlets “still provide advertisers with the best hope of reaching a mass audience in a single swoop, at the lowest possible cost, analysts say.”

If anything, smartphones and iPads are death-knells for ‘new media’ advertising.

13 June 2010

So what’s a Baby Boomer? Redux

I first blogged about this in 2006 (the embedded links have vanished):

So What's A Baby Boomer?
The "baby boom" actually began in 1943 when birth rates began to rise, dipping slightly in 1944 and 1945. I like to include people born a few years before that when I talk about Baby Boomers.

Obviously, I’m not anal about it.  But because marketing research is such a huge industry and detailed studies cost hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars, I wonder why so many people involved in slicing and dicing demos are so often confused:

Alpha Daughters Help Unravel the Complexity of the Ageing Baby Boomer Market
Over 12% of the US population are aged 65 or over and in the EU and US combined there are over 100 million people in this rapidly growing demographic group. Many of these consumers are the greying baby boomers …

Not yet.  Technically there aren’t any Baby Boomers over sixty-five.  The oldest ones are turning sixty-four this year – and that’s just the oldest ones born in 1946.  It’ll take another nineteen years for all Boomers to be over sixty-five.

Whatever ‘alpha daughters’ are, most are Baby Boomers.  They’re actually alpha-grandparents/daughters – meaning, they are caretaking their parents who are in their late seventies, eighties, and beyond – along with being grandparents – and (obviously) parents of adults.  A good book about it:

image The Daughter Trap
Researcher Kennedy conducted 60 minute depth phone interviews across the U.S. with a nationally-representative sample of 216 working women born between 1946-1964, who reported having primary caregiving responsibility for one or more aging parents or in-laws.

Baby Boomers who will need caregiving won’t need it for another fifteen to thirty years.

Female baby boomers get online, not in line, for beauty
In the Mintel “Beauty Retailing” study, 1-in-10 of the 1,020 female respondents—all ages 18 years or older—reported using some type of online retailer to purchase cosmetics and skin care aids, and as the female population ages, the female boomer population is expected to increase by 30.9% from 2005 to 2015.

image The female boomer population is expected to increase by 30.9% …

That would be quite a magic trick.  I don’t think Professor Dumbledore could even do it.

09 June 2010

Cleaning Out Those Dusty Ethereal Drawers

It’s amazing what you find when you’re on a cleaning binge. 
I’ve moved. Not this blog, my business site:
Bunches of pages were virtually shredded, the (very simple) design tweaked, and now I have a new home. Not much different than my old one. I like it.
Should I have left this on the landing page?
Tossed. It’s vapid and annoying.  But not long or pointless.
There’s an in the news section.  I stumbled down memory lane.  As you might expect, there were some laughs, some gasps, some queasiness, some shocks, some I-told-you-so’s.  A few nooks were empty. I guess news sites likewise do spring cleaning.
I’d been interviewed bunches of times about Baby Boomers, but this was the first news story about advertising and Boomers:
Don't call them old (2003)
By Jean Starr "Not wanting to get/be/look older isn't anything new. However, baby boomers will do it a bit differently," he said. "Looking and being healthy will be more important than toupees and botox. While botox and the like are getting a lot of press, I'm guessing only a small percentage of people are using stuff like that. Being able to ride a bike, play tennis and garden will be more important than looking good and feeling (bad)."
My local newspaper ‘covered’ me:
Ads today often skip over baby boomers
By Julie Muhlstein (2005)
image Chuck Nyren is feeling abandoned. It's not about friends or loved ones. He thinks he's being ignored by advertising.
c_nyren "What's happening now, advertising agencies are pretty much run by kids in their 20s and early 30s," said Nyren, an ad industry consultant who lives in Snohomish.
So much has changed since then.  Like, my hairline.
Ads target empty nests, full wallets (2005)
by Bob Moos image "Yes, I have my favorite toothpaste. But other than that, I'm wide open for suggestions," said Chuck Nyren, 55, the author of Advertising to Baby Boomers. "Why do ad execs believe boomers don't switch brands?"
Mr. Nyren said advertising agencies often ignore or misread boomers' preferences because most of their creative people are too young to understand that generation. "The agencies better hire more boomers if they want to reach them," he said.
So much has changed since then.  But not my toothpaste.
imageActive lives defy aging (2006)
By Bill Glauber image
"There will have to be a revolution in the advertising world," says Chuck Nyren, author of Advertising to Baby Boomers. "Baby boomers do not want to be twenty again, or thirty again," Nyren writes. "They want to feel as good as they possibly can for imagethe ages they are. They do not want to be marketed and advertised to as if they were young adults or thirty-somethings."
Don’t tell these people.

A Booming Opportunity (2006)
image By Renee M. Covino
"In England, they've done a lot of studies about 'wrap rage,' and it goes much deeper than not being able to open a bottle of medicine, for instance. It's anything, any consumer goods packaging that people have trouble opening, and as Baby Boomers are starting to age, they are very sensitive to this," says Chuck Nyren, who just happens to be another Baby Boomer and also creative strategist and consultant, as well as author of "Advertising to Baby Boomers." According to him, "bad packaging can make Baby Boomers feel incompetent; as marketers, you don't want to remind this group of people that they don't have the physical skills they had when they were younger."
Of course, the above has nothing to do with me. I can rip open any dumb, stupid candy wrapper with my bare hands .... as long as one of my bare hands is holding a pair of pliers.
Boomers: A Web-Marketing Bonanza (2006)
imageBy Olga Kharif
But many sites are still struggling with their identities and have not yet hit their stride, says boomer advertising consultant Chuck Nyron, author of Advertising for Baby Boomers  (Paramount Market Publishing, 2005) "Every site has happy, smiling faces of baby boomers and says: 'We want to inspire you'," he explains.
My name is misspelled.
imageTrying to catch the wave (2006)
By Bill King
image He’s proud that an industry once monopolized by white males opened itself to women and other races and ethnicities under the watch of the boomers. But there was one way in which his generation of marketers threw up a wall.

“Our blind spot was age,” Nyren said. “We were the ones who started only marketing to ourselves. We created the demo. We taught people how to market to it. And now, we’re paying the price, because the agencies have all been brainwashed into thinking that to be worth anything [to marketers], you have to be young.”
Don’t trust anyone over thirty. Unless they’re over fifty.
'Elderbloggers' Shy Away From Money Talk (2008)
By Candice Novak
image "Most older people hit that Google button, and in some ways it confuses them more than it enlightens them," Seattle marketing expert and blogger Chuck Nyren, 57, says, "because there's so much crap you have to wade through to get something that is truthful or helpful."
I was talking more about this – not Google Search.
Baby boomers become the forgotten consumer (2008)
image By Jennifer Mann, McClatchy Newspapers
Nyren said he often hears from marketers that advertising isn't effective on those 50-plus consumers, that it's a waste of time and money.
No, he said, they're just not doing it correctly.
"Speaking to the 50-plus, it has to be different in terms of writing and graphics and presentation," Nyren said. "A 20-something is an easier sell - you have to work harder, work smarter to get that 50-plus customer, but the return on investment, if you do it right, can be tremendous."
So do it right.
Adult underwear no longer being given the silent treatment
By Bob Moos (2009)
image Chuck Nyren, a Seattle advertising consultant and author of Advertising to Baby Boomers, says the TV spots are carefully crafted to appeal to boomers who, if they don't use Depends themselves, may be caregivers for parents who do.

"Morris got the right people and took the right approach," he said. "Now, if only other advertisers would hire boomers to pitch refrigerators, soap and other products."
No kidding.
Businesses Fighting For Baby Boomer Dollars (2009)
By Mary Motzko image Aside from age issues, Nyren added that there are many different personality types included in the baby boomer generation, from former hippies to conservatives. "Evoking the '60s, it's not the smartest thing to do."
No kidding.
image Others have vanished into the unity, take advantage of my linguistic illiteracy, are hidden behind virtual curtains.
But you can still hear me being drowned out by Led Zeppelin.

07 June 2010

The world might become a better place.

I bookmarked this piece a few weeks ago. It keeps pulling at me. While there’s not much new, it has that ‘sums up everything’ quality:

As longevity grows, the world might become a better place
The Washington Post
By Fred Pearce
image The longevity revolution affects every country, every community and almost every household. It promises to restructure the economy, reshape the family, redefine politics and even rearrange the geopolitical order over the coming century.

I try to stay on topic with this blog.  So I’ll simply say: The international advertising industry had better pay attention to this article.

Posts/links from the past:

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

People generally get better.

Old Masters and Young Geniuses

What Kind of Genius Are You?

Baby boomers are smarter than you think

Fred Pearce also talks about the origins of retirement:

The idea of a retirement age was invented by Otto von Bismarck in the 1880s, when as chancellor of Germany he needed a starting age for paying war pensions. He chose the age of 65 because that was typically when ex-soldiers died … In the future, people will probably be expected to stay in the formal economy longer.

Some worry that an older workforce will be less innovative and adaptable, but there is evidence that companies with a decent proportion of older workers are more productive than those addicted to youth.

More posts and links:

Call for ban on use of the word 'retirement'

Diversity = Productivity

Trust Your Gut

Calcified Advertising Agencies

Rance Crain Makes Perfect Sense Yet Again

image Why We Need Aging Workers

Memo to H.R: Older Brains = Smarter Brains

A quote from my book (2005, 2007):

NyrenPB Contrary to popular myth, Baby Boomers do not believe that they are still teenagers or young adults. (Some probably do, but they need therapy.) Boomers are slyly redefining what it means to be the ages they are. Included in this new definition are some youthful attitudes - but the real change is that instead of winding down, many are winding up. We're not 'looking forward to retirement,' we're looking forward to new lives, new challenges. Only a small percentage will opt for pure retirement. (I predict that in twenty years the word 'retirement' will still be in dictionaries, but followed by the modifier archaic.)

04 June 2010

More No News News

But it’s nice to see people blogging about it:

Baby Boomers: Consumers Ready To Buy
image A look at the American advertising landscape shows that Boomers are virtually ignored. A review of numerous commercials finds that, excluding financial firms and pharmaceuticals/OTC products, most companies are doing little in the way of courting Boomers. Older faces are virtually non-existent in commercials and on websites for products and services used by Boomers …

Gee, that’s my book, my blog, my articles, my speaking/consulting since 2003 – in a nutshell. 

I’d link to every blog post about it all – but that would be every blog post. So, just one (although the links to the commercials are gone):

Boomer Backlash II
imageIf every time someone over fifty sees a commercial targeting them and it’s always for an age-related product or service, pretty soon their eyes will glaze over, they’ll get itchy and grumpy.

 The Real Issue: Marketing and advertising folks grasping the fact that Boomers will be buying billions (trillions?) of dollars worth of non-age related products for the next twenty-odd years. If you target this group for toothpaste, computers, clothes, food, nail polish, sporting equipment, toenail clippers - anything at all (almost), and you do it with respect and finesse, they will appreciate and consider your product.   

A quote from my book (1st Edition published in 2005):

advbbcover It’s going to be up to companies to be proactive when dealing with advertising agencies. Quality control of your product doesn’t stop at the entrances of Madison Avenue’s finest, or at the doors of small local or regional advertising agencies. If companies put pressure on agencies, and demand 45-plus creatives for products aimed at the 45-plus market, then they will find out that Baby Boomers are still “the single most vibrant and exciting consumer group in the world.”

02 June 2010

Baby Boomers as iPhone window … I mean, screen dressing.

A couple of friends in the 50-Plus marketing biz have been talking about an iPhone spot and its age-neutral emphasis.  I’m not sure I see what they see:

I saw this ad a few months ago, liked it, but said to myself, “Did they ever miss the mark. It should have been done from the grandmother’s point of view.”

The spot is part of a major campaign. All the principals are twenty-somethings. In this version it’s a young mother. Baby Boomers and older are simply window … I mean, screen dressing. Marginalized, as usual – especially when it’s a tech-driven product or service.  Remember this commercial from 2005?

I admired the iPhone spot for all the obvious reasons – well done, simple, focuses on the product capabilities – and because I see this scenario played out first-hand. Of course, I’m on the other end looking over shoulders - it's the new grandmother receiving videos of her very young grandchildren. Words can’t describe …

imageYou could categorize this spot as age neutral - but as I’ve said, I wondered why they didn't reverse the scenario - a Baby Boomer grandmother receiving the video and forwarding it every which way (including to her mother). That's what really happens. Of course, a young mom will get excited when her baby starts walking, but it’s the grandmother who goes crazy and sends the video to everybody on her contacts list

This would also reinforce the fact that she can do it - which would be the point if you're trying to reach an older demo with primary or secondary age-neutral targeting. 

I guess wrinkly fingers holding this new, shiny gizmo might upset iPhone’s intended target market: twenty and thirty-somethings. 

Here's a spot I love, it’s packed with the emotional wallop I’m talking about, and they do it with humor. From New Zealand: