31 March 2011

New Old Dirt

imageI’m always digging up the same old dirt. Sometimes it’s other people’s old dirt, sometimes it’s my old dirt.  The funny thing is that it’s always fobbed off as new dirt.

New Dirt:

Boomers are Driving a New Entrepreneurship Boom
imageContrary to what most of you might guess, the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity over the last few years is not Gen-Y young upstarts, but Baby Boomers in the 55-64 year age group.

Old Dirt (culled from the Introduction to my book ©2005):


New Dirt:

The Unretiring Kind: Boomers Gear Up for Second Careers
imageThis year the first wave of Baby Boomers hits the 65 mark. In the past, age 65 was like the red line on a car’s tachometer that warned you when you neared the engine’s maximum recommended revolutions. When the needle tapped the red line, it was time to back off the throttle and begin to slow down.  And retire.
The Boomer cohort, some 79 million strong, doesn’t see it that way.

Old Dirt (again, from my book):


New Dirt:

Baby boomers save at Preferred Hotels
imageA study conducted by Preferred Hotel Group found that baby boomers, that is, people born between 1946 and 1964, want to take their travel experiences to a new level, where experiential, active and thematic travel is at the top of their lists. Not willing to be relegated to a bus tour, the 77-million-strong U.S. baby boomer generation is proving they are young-at-heart with a passion for active experiences in global destinations.

Old Dirt (again, from my book):





Maybe I should bury copies of my book and let other people dig’em up.

28 March 2011

TV Advertising Most Influential: MediaPost

This’ll be a follow-up to a few posts through the years, including the previous one:

The Real Thing vs. The Virtual Thing

More about Pepsi’s myopia, and trip to the optometrist for a new prescription:

Networks Set to Down Pepsi Dollars
by David Goetzl
image… On Friday, a PepsiCo executive said beverage ad spending would increase this year by 30% -- on TV alone -- with a concerted effort behind flagship Pepsi.

"We need television to make the big, bold statement," Massimo d'Amore, CEO of Pepsi Beverages Americas, told the Wall Street Journal.

Sounds about right to me.  Have I screamed about this loud enough before?  Let me scream again.  Or, let someone else scream:

TV Advertising Most Influential
by Jack Loechner
According to Deloitte's fifth edition "State of the Media Democracy" survey, 71% of Americans still rate watching TV on any device among their favorite media activities. In addition, 86% of Americans stated that TV advertising still has the most impact on their buying decisions.

imageNostraChuckus’ take on it all: Foretellings

23 March 2011

The Real Thing vs. The Virtual Thing

Remember this from December 2009?

Pepsi to Skip Super Bowl Ads in Favor of $20M Social Media Campaign
For the first time in 23 years, Pepsi will not have any ads in the Super Bowl. Instead, the company will be spending $20 million on a social media campaign it’s calling The Pepsi Refresh Project.

Social Media.  Hmmm.  I’ve heard of that.  Here’s a very cogent explanation of what it is:

Where people already aren’t.

Cogent Explanation

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

Pepsi followed the social media pack – into 3rd Place oblivion:

Pepsi Thirsty for a Comeback
imagePepsiCo Inc. is attempting to put a big new charge into its U.S. soda business after losing more ground last year to Coca-Cola Co. in their decades-old cola wars.

The food and drinks giant plans to spend 30% more to pitch its beverages on U.S. television in 2011 than in recent years—with much of the money aimed at propping up the sagging Pepsi-Cola brand after Diet Coke overtook it last year for the first time to become the No. 2 soda in the U.S. behind regular Coke.

The Ad Contrarian is all over this one:

Social Media’s Massive Failure
In reaction to this disaster, Massimo d'Amore, chief executive of PepsiCo Beverages Americas had this to say...

"When my ancestors went from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, they blew up the place, so that's what we are doing."
He also said...

"We need television to make the big, bold statement…

The Pepsi Follies
The most unsettling part of this episode is that Pepsi has been fawned over as "forward thinking" among the brand babblers and social media hustlers who have seized control of the marketing world.

Brand babblers and social media hustlers.  I think I’ve met a few of those:

5 Reasons Why 90% Of Social Media Efforts Fail

And a chapter from my book (2005):


Over the last few years, marketing has become a subset of social media…

I’m thinking it might be time to get back to the real thing

17 March 2011

The Crystal Ball of Common Sense Returns

As you can see, NostraChuckus' Crystal Ball of Common Sense has become agitated, flashing mystical sparks every which way.

While it’s all rather hazy, the probable causes for these disturbances are some recent ‘news’ stories:

Boomers volunteer at the highest rate of any generational group
About 33 percent of all boomers those born between 1946 and 1964 volunteer on a regular basis, the highest rate of any generational group and four percentage points above the national average of 28.8 percent…

NostraChuckus has said this before … and even before that:

Me vs. We Redux
Me Generation Baby Boomers Find Fulfillment Through Volunteerism…

This as well might explain the wild antics of the Crystal Ball:

Women’s Voices For Change
Makers of adult diapers, dentures, cancer treatments (disease in general), laxatives, and other products that address bodily functions are happy to target Boomers. But others act as if we automatically stop buying stuff…

From the book (2005):







And here:

Boomer Backlash (2009)
imageThe 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.

The 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.

imageFamed Soothsayer and advertising gadfly NostraChuckus shall continue startling the world with his mundane prognostications.

13 March 2011

Twice Blogged.

It’s always a pleasant shock to find your virtual self puttering in impressive places.

imageJamie Carracher is a digital communications counselor on the Digital Public Affairs team in Edelman’s Washington office. A former journalist, he has worked for publications and public relations firms in New York, Detroit and Cleveland.

My recent online presentation is featured in one of Jamie’s posts:

imageDoes Mobile Work When Advertising to Boomers?
Nyren walks through news coverage and trends from 2010, and interestingly brings context on what's going on inside the brains of older people.

And I found myself mucking about on Dr. Bill Thomas’ authoritative site, ChangingAging.org:

imageRe-Thinking Dove Pro-Aging
Last week I tweeted that I was “thinking about beauty.” In particular, I was thinking about the Dove “pro-aging” campaign.

Remember this?

Thanks, Jamie and Bill. 

Bookmark these blogs:

Aging Online
Tech & Social Media for Boomers and the Elderly

ChangingAging.org is a platform to attack conventional attitudes towards aging and to provide positive, growth-oriented alternatives for a life worth living.

08 March 2011

They watch your shows anyway.

imageNot too long ago I pitched a television series.  Hadn’t done that since 1974.

I put together a proposal, emailed it, and ended up chatting on the phone with the program director for a major cable network.

The show (obviously) targets Baby Boomers.  It’s about universal design, aging in place – and not aging in place.  Sort of a cross between House Hunters and all those home renovation shows. 

imageI didn’t get too far.  Almost immediately, the gentleman said, “There is no way I could sell this to an advertising agency.  They’re all twentysomethings – and have already told me, ‘Why target people over fifty?  They watch your shows anyway.’”

I was taken aback, but not surprised.  It amused me to hear someone practically quote from my 2005 book:


Since the chat, there have been news stories every which way that pretty much describe the series I pitched:

imageAttractive products for aging boomers
Universal design turns toward high design (Chicago Tribune)

GE's Marc Hottenroth Is Building a Home Made for Baby Boomers (Fast Company)

Remodeling Now to Avoid Accessibility Problems Later (New York Times)

Cities introducing age-friendly innovations (AARP Global Network)

Add to the above this brand-new (but nothing new) article in The Wall Street Journal – and you have the Introduction and 1st Chapter of my book:

advbbcoverIntroduction: The Geritol Syndrome (PDF)

Chapter One: Why Companies and Ad Agencies Need Baby Boomers (PDF)

07 March 2011

How do we get them there?

Just a friendly reminder:

imageIn-Banner Video Sees Slip in View-to-Completion Rates
Among fully viewed ads, completion rates were down 9.5 percentage points, or 19.9% lower than 2008–2009. This data includes various ad formats, such as expandable and floating units.

… As video becomes a more common element of the online experience, viewers are likely becoming more desensitized to the presence of video ads.

Pair this with a piece from January:

imageReport: Facebook Ad Performance Is Abysmal
-Mike Shields
Average click-through rate was 0.051 percent in 2010 … The worst performing ad category on Facebook, per Webtrends, was healthcare, which generated 0.011 percent click-through rates and an average cost-per-click of $1.27.

I’m supposed to talk to an agency soon.  It’ll be about a financial services web site. I’ll probably say, “OK, we can talk about content all you want.  But the real question is this: How do we get them there? You can produce the greatest web site in the ethereal universe – but if no one comes …”

For the umpteenth time:

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.

The Most Effective Marketing/Advertising Model For Reaching Baby Boomers: What is now called (silly retronym ahead) traditional advertising pushing you to an age-friendly, informative product/services web site.