23 February 2015

Boomers & Millennials & Everyone Else & Advertising

Jim Gilmartin, a gentleman I’ve been reading with pleasure for years, has a new piece on MediaPost:

Want To Connect With Baby Boomers? Be Authentic
Jim Gilmartin Speaker Photo…It’s widely known in marketing circles that most people over 50 think marketers misrepresent them in ads. Yet, few marketers seem influenced by this or know what to do about it. However, the remedy is simple: Be authentic in representing aging…

Excellent advice. I might tweak it just a tad. From my book Advertising to Baby Boomers © 2005/2007:

CVRComp… If using models for Baby Boomers in ads, it might be a good idea to shave off a few years. Nobody needs to see all their imperfections, or well-earned crow’s feet, shouting at them from a page of a magazine or embedded in a television screen.

... It’s basic human nature to think of yourself as a bit younger than you are. This is because we have no “forward” age perspective to draw on, only “backward” age perspective. As I write this, I’m fifty-six. But I really don’t know what being fifty-six is. I do know what being in my middle forties was. I remember being in my middle forties. I have age perspective on both sides, so I can isolate that age. At the time I didn’t know what being in my middle forties was, how it felt, what it meant. I can’t really get my mind around being fifty-six because I don’t have a dual perspective. When I’m sixty, I’ll know what being “fifty-six” is.

But above all, be authentic when advertising to Baby Boomers.

… Oh, and now I read that you should likewise be authentic when advertising to Millennials:

Authenticity: The key to successfully reaching millenial customers

Hmm.  Now I’m wondering, “What generation doesn’t want authenticity?  Is there a generation that prefers disingenuous ads?”

Dick Stroud tossed up an interesting post on his blog:

Millennials look for experiences over possessions
I had to laugh when Marketing magazine had a headline "Millennials look for experiences over possessions." I thought that I had read something like that before and then remembered a blog posting back in 2008 that said something very similar only this time it was about Boomers…

The Takeaway: Boomers and Millennials love authenticity and experiences.  How this data will help you advertise your product or service, I don’t know. 

Maybe just make sure that your advertising is an authentic experience.  Or something like that. 

Not about advertising:

huffington_post_logo1Have You Ever Fainted? All about mine.
That's a lie. I don't remember anything about it. I fainted. Before and after the faint, I remember.

06 February 2015

Ameriprise Demolishes Picket Fence

I’ve been following Ameriprise’s stumbling and pandering advertising for over nine years:

Invoking "The Sixties" (2005)
Ameriprise's campaign slinks around and takes the low road — invoking 'The Sixties' for no reason other than to unctuously 'brand' their service.

Ameriprise vs. Fidelity Financial Redux  (2006)
The 1960s were about cultural change and political activism. But in Ameriprise's new commercials, the era's touchstones are evoked in the name of money, money, money.

Dennis Hopper for Ameriprise  (2007)

Advertising Has Removed Music's Soul (2009)

Ameriprise: Psychedelic Peace Signs Now White Picket Fences  (2011)
… Now it seems Aunt Polly made Tom whitewash that fence.  No more peace signs or psychedelic graffiti…

Ameriprise seems to still be interested in Baby Boomers:

Ameriprise Study: First Wave of Baby Boomers Say Health and Emotional Preparation are Keys to a Successful Start to Retirement  (2015)

But someone must've knocked down that whitewashed fence:

Ameriprise Splits with R/GA, Searches for a New Lead Shop
Signals a shift from Tommy Lee Jones campaign
By Andrew McMains

I wonder what’s next. Old hippies painting psychedelic dollar signs on a picket fence? Aunt Polly as the new spokesperson? One of those snazzy computerized commercials where they futz with old footage, maybe Tommy Lee Jones as Tom Sawyer and Dennis Hopper as Huckleberry Finn jawing about financial planning?

Oh, to be a gadfly on the wall during that creative review…