31 May 2011

More No News News

There’s no need to read this BNET piece if you’ve read my book or oodles of posts here over the last six years (although it’s great to see David Wolfe getting virtual ink):

imageAre you targeting the wrong audience?
Madison Avenue is still locked into “Chronic Youth Syndrome.” … Ironically, this fixation on younger audiences is a historic anachronism dating back to the time when Baby Boomers were 18 to 34.

atbbcoverlightSounds familiar. The first chapter of my book (©2005).  Or breeze through this recent article.  Or…the list goes on and on and on.

Back to the BNET piece:

Have you been targeting the right audience? If not, what do you plan to do to correct the situation?

imageI can tell you what advertisers and CMOs won’t be planning on doing to “correct the situation,” what they won’t be demanding from their ad agencies (so you might as well flush all this demographic poop down the toilet):

HR/Brain Roll
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, some practically required reading, others instructive and illuminating. 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.

23 May 2011

Time To Duct-Tape WOMM?

imageFor a few years, David Segal (aka The Haggler) of the NYT has been entertaining me with his tongue-in-cheek essays on seedy business practices.  Every so often he features one of my favorite subjects: Word-of-Mouth Marketing

My first post about it all:

The Brouhaha Over WOMM (2006)
imageMy prediction: When it all comes out in the wash, WOMM will be the best thing to happen to (silly retronym ahead) traditional advertising. Pretty soon, consumers won't believe anybody - even their best friends. They'll realize that they receive the most honest and straightforward information about a product or service from a TV commercial, print ad, or product web site. At least we don't lie about who we are and why we're saying what we're saying … As far as all the claptrap about WOMM replacing advertising - people who are hawking that one have a slippery grip on history.

One more (there are at least a half-dozen):

Manipulation of the Crowd (2010)
As readers of this blog know, one of my favorite activities is WOMing WOMM…

The Haggler’s latest piece:

A Rave, a Pan, or Just a Fake?
imageA recent ad posted by “Katmoney” … offered to write convincing negative reviews posted to a Yelp page of your choosing.

A related incident on my blog:

My Blog Was WOMMed! (2008)
A comment showed up in my inbox. I moderate comments before publishing.  Instinctively I knew it stank …  Someone who works at the company left the comment - and here's the most egregious part - trashed their competition … This exemplifies the darkest of the dark side of WOMM.

Another good one:

Internet Hero of the Week (2009)
An uproar hit the Web over the weekend when it was discovered an employee at consumer electronics company Belkin had offered to pay people to write positive reviews for his company's products, even if they hadn't tried them … "Write as if you own the product and are using it," Bayard suggested. "Thank the website for making you such a great deal. Mark any other negative reviews as 'not helpful' once you post yours."

duct-tapedPerhaps it’s time to duct-tape word-of-mouth marketing.

18 May 2011

Youth Culture Bites Back

An fortuitous follow-up to a recent NYT piece:

 Youth Culture Bites Back


imageI was interviewed by Ms. Kennedy for her superb cover story in The Ottawa Citizen Boomer Magazine.  Also included are savvy comments by Ben Barry, Elizabeth May, Lillian Zimmerman, Tom Ford, and Matt Thornhill.

Chunks of the article remind me of the Introduction and 1st Chapter of my book (as did the NYT piece).  Janice Kennedy’s take on it all brings everything up to date.



More articles by Janice Kennedy

15 May 2011

NostraChuckus Scoops New York Times II

The first time:

NostraChuckus Scoops New York Times
NostraChuckus is thrilled to be able to predict news stories weeks before the New York Times.

This time, make it years before:

In Shift, Ads Try to Entice Over-55 Set
Published: May 13, 2011
… After 40 years of catering to younger consumers, advertisers and media executives are coming to a different realization: older people aren’t so bad, after all.

Sounds familiar:

"You're still relevant!" (2006)
Judge Judy is on a rampage (as if she ever isn't)

TV's youth obsession backfiring (2006)
In the spirit of fun and games with the news, I've come up with a few of my own reasonable, moderate, neutral headlines…

Calcified Advertising Agencies (2007)
… A prime-time TV show with most of its viewers in the 34-to-49 range can get 30% more per ad minute than one that caters to people 55 and older. Yet consumers age 50 and up already spend more than $1.7 trillion on goods and services a year…

More from the NYT piece:

They (Baby Boomers) have also become heavy spenders on electronics and digital devices. The study also showed that members of the 55-to-64 age group were just as likely as those ages 18 to 34 to have high-definition televisions, digital video recorders and broadband service.

Sounds familiar.  The pull quote on the cover of Advertising to Baby Boomers ©2005:

coveradvbb“It will be the Baby Boomers who will be the first to pick and choose, to ignore or be seduced by leading-edge technology marketing. There’s a simple reason for this. We have the money to buy this stuff. Experts say we’ll continue to have the money for at least the next twenty years. Write us off at your own peril.

Even more from the NYT article:

the biggest misconception about the group was that older Americans wanted to be younger…

Sounds familiar.  From my book (2005, 2007):


Another grab from the book:


For the backstory to the NYT piece, I’ve made available the Introduction & 1st Chapter of Advertising to Baby Boomers:

Introduction: The Geritol Syndrome (PDF)

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

Why NostraChuckus and other notable soothsayers aren’t getting the credit for predicting all this …

Well, the Crystal Ball is hazy on that one.

09 May 2011

Baby Boomer Bonanza Forecast

NostraChuckus, that uncannily somewhat accurate prognosticator who mostly deals with predicting common sense, is forecasting a new wave of economic interest in Baby Boomers worldwide.  This includes all advertising, marketing, media, economic development - and especially housing.

From Down Under:

Baby boomer bonanza forecast
Baby boomers will be an economic force to be reckoned with, according to a new report on New Zealand's ageing population … Far from being a drain on the economy, baby boomers could offer a multibillion-dollar boon, a new Government report says.

imageReport Focuses on Economic Benefits of Ageing
It is time to look at the economic benefits of ageing baby boomers rather than just the burdens, Senior Citizens Minister John Carter said today.

From AARP Global Network:

Boomers and seniors may be next big thing in media sales
imageCompanies looking to sell products and services in industries like music, radio, television and movies have traditionally aimed at younger audiences, but a lack of interest among young people and a growing older population has prompted some professionals in the field to rethink their strategy…

In Spain, the number of younger radio listeners has declined in recent years, but boomers age 55 to 64 have started to tune into stations even more than before - 54.2 percent of the demographic regularly listens to the radio…

Movies are also experiencing a graying effect … the number of boomer and senior movie watchers has grown by 67 percent since 1995 …

Aging in Place, Home Improvement:

imageKitchen & Bath Industry Show:
The age of ease
Products are moving toward easy-to-use design with an eye on aging baby boomers.

How Baby Boomers Will Grow the Home Improvement Market

NostraChuckus is not surprised by any of this.  Media planners, program directors, and everybody else in media and advertising will be surprised – and dismiss all facts as heresy. 

The Crystal Ball of Common Sense continues to augur aimlessly.

02 May 2011

Click this ad. 0.051% do.

The Ad Contrarian tipped me off to this one:

The Click: Brand Marketing's Most Misleading Measure
image… a tiny fraction of people ever click on an ad. In fact, 99% of stable cookies examined never click on an ad … optimization of campaigns to achieve higher CTR may in fact be reducing brand ROI.

So your digital agency says you have to put up a banner or bannerish ad on Facebook (or any social networking site). Media planners suggest an ad network.  If you follow their advice, what percentage of viewers will click on your ad?

Average click-through rate was 0.051 percent … 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.

Or maybe you should just stick with a fan page.

There’s a lot of bad advice out there. I don’t even take my own advice.  It’s only the beginning of May and already I’ve broken my new year’s resolution.