28 February 2011

If you want to be confused, surf the web.

Sometimes I yearn for the olden days, when life was simple.  A morning newspaper, an evening newspaper.  Some radio stations.  A handful of news magazines.  Three TV networks – and if you wanted to watch the evening news you could only watch one because they were all on at the same time. 

Nowadays anybody can write, edit, and publish news.  You can consume as much as you want whenever you want.  However, this can get confusing.  I’ve decided that the easiest way to process all the noise is to believe it all.

imageIf I can hear it.  Apparently, I hear lots of it:

Say what?
Overall, the baby boomers had 31% less hearing loss than their parents.

I knew Mom & Dad weren’t playing those Benny Goodman records loud enough.

And not much of it:

Rock music takes toll on boomer hearing
Richard Salvi, director of the University at Buffalo Center for Hearing and Deafness, says many baby boomers have already lost much of their hearing and developed tinnitus -- ringing in the ear -- due to many years of listening to loud rock music.  

As far as life in general, it’s going to be horrible:

Uh-oh. We’re in trouble…
imageYou haven’t experienced cognitive dissonance until you receive a brochure encouraging you to spend thousands of dollars a year for long-term care insurance as you prepare to “defy” old age.

It Gets Worse
By Ted C. Fishman
Jacoby sees a new ageism that doesn’t just stigmatize old people for their years, but blames them for physical ills that no lifestyle adjustments or medicine can yet forestall.

And wonderful:

Boomers should avoid ageism in themselves
imageDr. Robert S. Stall, a University at Buffalo clinical assistant professor in medicine and a specialist in geriatrics, says baby boomers should avoid self-prejudice … Aging boomers have a lot to expect in terms of health and well-being, Stall says.

I’ll leave you with some other studies that will confuse you even more – or not, if you believe everything as I do:

We’re all miserably happy, or …

Update 3/3/11: Interview with Susan Jacoby in AARP Bulletin

23 February 2011

The New Business of Old Age

The NYT New Old Age blog has been around for awhile.  A few weeks ago there was this:

imageThe New Business of Old Age
Devices for I’ve-fallen-and-I-can’t-get-up catastrophes, they say, represent the old business of old age. The new business of old age involves technologies and services that promote wellness, mobility, autonomy and social connectivity.

‘I’ve-fallen-and-I-can’t-get-up’ scenarios are something I’ve been screaming about for years.  From my book (2005):

And a post from last year:

Boomer helps older adults bridge technology gap

Great to see Dr. Joseph Coughlin and MIT AgeLab get lots of press.  I’ve blogged them many times.  A few:

imageNew Campaigns

Two Experts, One Superb Article, One Superb Presentation

Tech & Baby Boomers: Universal Design vs. Universally Dull

Back to the NYT blog:

And if such innovations prove to promote health and independence, delaying entry into long-term care, the potential savings to the health care system could be even greater.

That’s all fine and dandy, but there are pitfalls when advertising these products – and they involve all advertisers and marketers for all products and services:

imageThe Backlash: If 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.

17 February 2011

Green Boomers Redux

A few posts ago:

GrandBoomers in Toyland
A few of these Green toy companies might get the smarts – and market their products directly to Baby Boomer grandparents.

Or will they get the smarts?

Now take a look at a piece highlighting Green-leaning generational trends:

We Are All Green Consumers
Jacquelyn A. Ottman
imageToday, the National Marketing Institute says that 83% of consumers representing four generations — Baby Boomers, Millennials, Gen Ys and Gen Zs – are some shade of green …

imageNow the heads of millions of U.S. households, the Baby Boomers have been influencing society since the 1960s when they planted the seeds of the modern day green movement when as idealistic youths, gathered to celebrate the first Earth Day, in 1970, followed by the first Solar Day in 1971. Their peaceful demonstrations of concern gave rise to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, the founding of the US Environmental Protection Agency in 1970, the Clean Air and the Clean Water Acts that same year, and the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

It really won’t be too big a job convincing most Baby Boomers to think green – or at the very least consider green/greener products. And I’ll admit that my cupboard isn’t as green as it might be. 

We need to nudge, and be nudged.

15 February 2011

Ageism Across The Pond

Ageism isn’t like tobacco – homegrown only in The Colonies:

BBC Miriam O'Reilly Scandal Sparks Debate On Ageism In TV
imageOne colleague offered her hair dye. Another told her "it's time for botox." A third said her wrinkles could be a problem in this new era of high-definition TV.

Veteran TV presenter Miriam O'Reilly was eventually taken off air, and she decided to fight back…

Might be time for a Revolution

imageGlad they didn’t have HDTV back in the late 18th Century.  Ben F. wouldn’t have been allowed anywhere near a video lens.  And General George in Hi Def?  His handlers would’ve made sure he never smiled.

Abigail Adams? They’d hide her in a closet.

11 February 2011

Aging Means Business E-Newsletter

imageIt is an honor to be featured in The Gerontological Society of America’s Aging Means Business E-Newsletter:

Aging Means Business E-Newsletter
Volume 1, Number 2, Winter 2011
This quarterly e-newsletter explores the intersection of business and aging. Installments highlight articles and reports that address the enormous potential for businesses to target seniors as both consumers and producers, spotlight select industries, and identify effective strategies for marketing to an older consumer.

The goal of this email publication is to reach teachers, students, researchers, and business professionals interested in understanding, attracting, and capitalizing on a growing senior market.

What it says:

III. Marketing to Mid-Life and Older Adults:
image2010 Review: National & International Marketing/
Advertising to Baby Boomers
This online PowerPoint presentation by Chuck Nyren provides a 30-minute overview of marketing/advertising efforts to Baby Boomers in 2010. It includes commercials from countries around the world, and offers links to additional resources.

Also featured is Dick Stroud’s Connecting With Older Consumers.  I pointed readers to it a few weeks ago.

List of E-Newsletters from The GSA.

10 February 2011

Green GrandBoomers in Toyland

A few months ago I blogged a MetLife Study:

New Report From MetLife Mature Market Institute
… It is estimated that at least two-thirds of Early Boomers are grandparents and a rising number are responsible for their grandchildren…

… This weekend while at Costco, I caught a grandmother (she shall remain anonymous) sending pictures of dresses to her granddaughter so the child could pick the one she wanted.  Instant virtual shopping... 

imageGrandparents spend an average of $500 a year on each grandchild, collectively $30 billion per year, according to an AARP study…

The other day I read this:

AP Photo/Matthias SchraderGermany sells vision for 'green toys' to world
The Associated Press
"I think that the success of our company, shows that there is clearly a wide segment of the population that will pay a little more for environmentally friendly toys," said von Goeben, whose toys cost roughly a third more than comparable playthings made from conventional materials.

But …

Wild Toys, makers of animal figures and exploration sets, said their experience had shown otherwise … "We are still in that phase on toys that consumers say, 'Yes, we want to be green, but no, we don't want to pay for it."

A few of these Green toy companies might get the smarts – and market their products directly to Baby Boomer grandparents. 

Or will they get the smarts?

07 February 2011

Super Bowl Ads 2011

No, I won’t be boring everybody with another play-by-play.  Just a few thoughts and reactions.

Sure, the Passat spot was a good one. Everybody’s hyping social media because the spot has gone viralbut why did it?

Not much targeting of Baby Boomers.  Of course, old folks won in the obligatory Butt of Jokes category.  There were a few others with the same tired theme. I’ll spare you.

The Snickers ad was an embarrassment. Tim Hutton starred in the worst spot

I howled once in four hours.  Actually about five times, through the whole spot.  The best part was that you’d have to be over fifty to get it:

House Promo Fox

For those not Chronologically Gifted: 

Super Bowl Ad 1979

01 February 2011

Foretellings Redux

From NostraChuckus, May 1, 2010:

imageWith the exception of the workplace, smartphones (along with iPads and Kindles or something like them) might just make desktops and laptops and the web as we know it obsolete…  

And the more people use smartphones, the less they’ll tolerate silly graphical doodads mucking up their small  screens…

From eMarketer, January 31st:

Consumers Expect Mobile Ads to Inform
imageWith mobile advertising on the upswing, marketers must remember that many consumers are still less than thrilled about ads on this very personal device…respondents cared relatively little about the graphical and multimedia elements of the ads.

More NostraChuckus from May, 2010:

Advertising on smartphones will be considered an annoyance, invasive, and rather dinky – while marketing (coupons on steroids, and more) will flourish and dominate.

More eMarketer from February 1, 2011:

Consumers Eager for Mobile Shopping Adoption
US mobile internet users expect shopping-related activities in some categories to be more popular on mobile than they currently are on PCs…

Already, mobile internet users conducting dining research and shopping activities most often use mobile location-based services when doing so…

The clear trend is for information in every category to become more mobile in the near future…

imageRemember when that prototype iPhone was left in a bar?  Imagine what would happen if NostraChuckus accidentally left his Crystal Ball of Common Sense somewhere…