30 July 2013

Purple Clover.

Not sure what this place is yet.  Let’s just say it’s germinating:

Purple Clover.


An Ad Age article doesn’t tell us much:

imageBermanBraun Aims New Site Aimed At Invisible Demo: Baby Boomers
Baby Boomers surf the web too, albeit perhaps while wearing bifocals and on a decade-old version of Internet Explorer.

Good start. We know we’re going nowhere with this piece.

Baby Boomers, Luddites? Not So Fast.
… As far as Boomers being tech/web Luddites - I’ve been dispelling that silly myth for years - in my book and blog (Advertising to Baby Boomers, first published in early 2005).

Technology & Baby Boomers

And there’s the brand loyalty silliness I’ve been screaming about for years. It came up in the post last week.

More stuff in the article is old hat, discussed ad nauseam by yours truly and others.

One interesting quote:

"We'll be launching a need-to-know, quick-hit video series that will be distributed not only on the property but via email and ultimately via text as well...with an eye toward ultimately Purple Clover living across all media platforms [including TV]," Mr. Berman said.

Sounds like my advice for another project:

27 September 2010
Next Avenue: Baby Boomers & PBS
…I wouldn’t get all agog over the concept of multiplatform content by making this project a truly interactive venture. Of course, have a web site (PBS usually produces good ones). Mobile apps? Fine. However, don’t be sidetracked.  Concentrate money and energy where the eyeballs are.

30 July 2012
Picking On The Big Boys & Girls, Part III: Next Avenue

The site says this on their about page:

Purple Clover is a new site for people who hate being called "baby boomers"…

…..Okay. Whatever that means. Maybe they’re still talking to themselves, trying to figure out positioning, while not quite realizing that most of us use the term Baby Boomers for news articles and B2B stuff – not when promoting products, services, media. 

From my book, © 2005:


imageAn interview with Ronni Bennett on her blog Time Goes By:

Chuck Nyren on Advertising and Elders (2007)
…Using the term “Baby Boomers” in news articles doesn’t bother me much (except that I’m getting sick of so many news stories lately). But using it in advertising (“Hey, Baby Boomers! Here’s the product for you!”) is pretty dumb. You don’t want to talk at people by defining who they are. This is insulting.

…Again, it’s dumb to call baby boomers baby boomers in ads. The press calls them baby boomers, and when talking B2B (business-to-business), we use the term baby boomers. My book is titled Advertising to Baby Boomers but it’s a business book.

Purple Clover reminds me of a site across the pond:

http://www.high50.com/wp-content/themes/high50/images/uk/logo.jpgYou’ve turned 50? Congratulations!

You’re now part of the most economically powerful, culturally significant, desired and desirable generation on earth.

Both target the high-end chunk of Boomers and older by being tongue-in-cheek, urbane, mildly irreverent.  There’s little if any talk about the negative aspects of aging. And that’s a smart move. It’s exactly what I suggested AARP Magazine might do for one issue:

02 April 2013
AARP Is All New Redux: Part III (The Magazine)
…Plan an issue with no age/malady related ads…Of course, I would leave editorial in the expert hands of Ms. Blyth and others – but might suggest this: For one issue, no articles about being old or sick…

Purple Clover’s advertising model seems stunted – until it wraps itself around a TV project.

Update 31 July:
Dick Stroud’s take on Purple Clover.

24 July 2013

Freshening Up Common Sense

I often invoke alter-ego NostraChuckus and his Crystal Ball of Common Sense when stumbling upon musty stuff revamped for the umpteenth time.  I’ll leave The Great Seer in the ether for this one, since Kim Walker has done such a sterling job updating the obvious:

Six silly excuses for not marketing to ageing consumers


Kim WalkerLet’s go through a few:


Excerpts from my book, ©2005:





A quote from a review of my book by Dr. Joyce M. Wolburg of Marquette University, published in The Journal of Consumer Marketing (2005):

A second favorite excuse of agencies is: "Baby Boomers don't change brands" (p. 52, italics in original). Nyren dismantles this excuse nicely with examples of brand switching, and he further acknowledges that in cases where loyalty to a brand does exist, marketers who do not target Boomers give them no reason to change.

Read the full review. (PDF)


14 November 2005
My Favorite Cyber-Myth
How I snicker and roll my eyes whenever I read about Baby Boomers fumbling around on computers…

23 February 2009
Snake Oil In Cyberspace
… As far as Boomers being tech/web Luddites - I’ve been dispelling that silly myth for years - in my book and blog…

Thoughts on the Kim Walker/Dick Stroud book, Marketing to the Ageing Consumer.

19 July 2013

Do PR outfits vet press releases anymore?

The Press Release Parade marches on and on.  Parades from the past:

28 July 2011
The Press Release Parade
I’m on the list.
That doesn’t make me special by any standards. Press Releases are like virtual confetti nowadays.

02 November 2011
The Press Release Parade Marches On
I’m in a bad mood today (for personal reasons) so I’m putting up a nasty post.  It’ll make me feel better.

Recently fallen flakes:

Hi Chuck, hope you’re doing well.
Sorry to bother you as I know you’re busy, but I wanted to see if you’d be interested in a new study/inforgraphic (???) from the online branding optimization technology, S***** … and determines that 77% of web display ads are not seen…

We know this already:

imageAn astounding 54% of online display ads shown in "thousands" of campaigns measured by comScore Inc. SCOR +2.33% between May of 2012 and February of this year weren't seen by anyone, according to a study completed last month.

Don't confuse "weren't seen" with "ignored." These ads simply weren't seen, the result of technical glitches, user habits and fraud.

And when they are seen…

02 May 2011
Click this ad. 0.051% do.

Another flack fleck:

Hello Chuck,
Are you using or losing your brain? Afraid of Alzheimer's? Will doing a few more crossword puzzles help? How about adding more antioxidants to your diet? That's only the beginning...

(stuff about a book)

"A consequence of the brains placidity is that it may change with every experience, thought and emotion, from which it follows that you yourself have the potential power to change your brain with everything that you do, think, and feel." says author A**** F******.

I’m not anal. The missing possessive apostrophe (brain’s) and period where a comma should be doesn’t bother me – although a professional PR outfit might be a bit fussier. 

The unforgivable error in this emailed press release: placidity

I know something about the brain book/game industry:

Human Resources/Brain Power

The word should be plasticity, not placidity.

I contacted the author.  The author responded:

Where did that appear? Yes, of course it should say plasticity.

Do PR outfits vet press releases anymore?

08 July 2013

A Dwelling Deluge

At least in the press, both print and pixel:

Retiring Baby Boomers Create Housing Boomtowns
by Shanthi Bharatwaj
imageBaby boomers -- those born between 1946 and 1964, constituting roughly 75 million people -- are retiring in increasing numbers, prompting a new cycle of growth…

Introducing the retirement commune
When it comes to living arrangements, boomers are determined to get by with a little help from their friends.
By Sally Abrahms

Baby boomers' mobile-home paradise
By Lisa Margonelli
Few people aspire to be old or to live in a trailer, but we need to be more open to the possibilities inherent in both…

New Clark Retirement CEO focuses on Baby Boomers
By Charlsie Dewey
imageBrian Pangle, the new president and CEO of Clark Retirement Community, considers himself to be on the tail-end of the baby boomer generation, and he said he knows members of his generation hope to live as independently as possible for as long as possible.

imageMinnesota targets baby boomers with specialist housing options
By Jane A Peterson
Across America, providers of housing and services for older people are gearing up for… those 78 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964.

The downpour continues:

New Canfield development caters to baby boomers
By Jamison Cocklin
The cover of Abbey Road has no printed words. It is a photo of the Beatles, in side view, crossing the street in single file.… At a time when new home construction has only just started to ramp back up in the Mahoning Valley and appraisals finally are on the rise, word of the Abbey Road Villas is spreading — but it isn’t just the market stoking demand.

One clue is in the name. Recall that Abbey Road was the final album The Beatles recorded in 1969…

New Bergen County handyman franchise caters to Baby Boomers
by Myles Ma
http://media.nj.com/static/njo/static/img/logo_v001.pngKeith Paul helped found HandyPro in 1996 when he said a contractor ripped off an elderly relative.

"We started the company just helping out seniors," Paul said. As it turns out, seniors are a fast-growing customer base.

I left out a few.  I didn’t want you to drown.

The point of this gathering: These unwieldy folks are not going quietly and peacefully into middle-to-old age. They are going to insist on choices for housing. One size won’t fit all.  The only through-line might be (probably should be) elements of Universal Design.

I wrote about it all in my book ©2005, 2007. An excerpt (PDF):

Selling Universal Design To Baby Boomers/Aging In Place
… Past generations tended to get excited about modern conveniences that would make their lives easier. They'd walk into a planned housing unit and exclaim, "Look! It's got this and this and this and this!" The more features, the better. The more 'planned,' the better. It was time to start a new life. Time to be rewarded for all the hard work, and relax.

Not so with Baby Boomers. We take most modern conveniences for granted. And we don't want to start new lives, but continue the lives we already have.

CVRCompBaby Boomers will be anticipating a seamless transition. Instead of "Look! It has this and this and this," we'll be sniffing around for friendly, useful spaces. You'll want us to say, "Look! There's a perfect place for my pottery wheel," or "There are plenty of windows and sunlight. My house plants and indoor herb garden will do fine in here," or "Good. I can put up big, deep shelves for my books and CDs," or "Here's the perfect room for our side business on Ebay," or "Here's a place where I can soundproof a recording studio or entertainment center," or "This oversized back door is great because I can roll my bicycle in and out without squeezing and jerking it around - and the extra-wide hallway means there's plenty of room so I can just lean it against the wall and we won't bang into it every time we walk past it."

A collection of posts and links (2005-2013):

Aging In Place & Universal Design