07 September 2017

Even More Some of The News That’s Fit to Print

winchellGood evening, Mr. and Mrs. Marketing from continent to continent and satellite to server and all the ships at sea. Let's go to press

Now in its fourth year, the Mature Marketing Summit is firmly established as Europe's leading conference for all interested in marketing for older consumers …

Old New News Flashes: Boomers' role in entrepreneurship is, well, booming … Not exactly cutting-edge journalism if you’ve kept up with NostraChuckus through the years: Entrepreneurs & Baby Boomers Part I Boomers A Driving Force On U.S. Economy Despite Advertising Focus On Millennials …  Some of us have been saying that for the last twelve years, maybe more …

carolTalk of The Town: Carol Orsborn was once Fierce With Age.  Now she’s Older, Wiser, FiercerPaul Kleyman isn’t thrilled about The Age of Anti-Aging … I wasn’t happy about it in my previous postThe Ad Contrarian has proof that he’s an idiotBrent Green examines Media Mishaps from Spicey and The Mooch

P&G Cuts More Than $100 Million in ‘Largely Ineffective’ Digital Ads … This reporter is not surprised … ‘Til next time.

30 August 2017

Disillusioned

imageHarry (Rick) Moody, former Vice President and Director of Academic Affairs for AARP, tackles disillusionment in an engrossing piece for The American Society on Aging.  He opens with a humorous, self-deprecating story about not giving a presentation on the subject:

Baby Boomers: From Great Expectations to a Crisis of Meaning
Image result for american society of aging… I had given many presentations at conferences on aging, but this session turned out to be unique: I sat on a chair at my poster session for two hours and not a single person came by. Not one. Talk about disillusionment!

Rick goes deep, quoting and/or referencing Robert N. Butler, Carl Jung, Charles Dickens, The Buddha, Erik Erikson, Viktor Frankl, and others. His take, it seems to me, is not to define disillusionment as some sort of generic depression - but as a wisdom-inducing experience, perhaps not welcomed but ultimately enlightening.

The Danish author Isak Dinesen once said: “All the sorrows of life are bearable if only we can convert them into a story.” Are we perhaps telling the wrong story about old age—namely, that we can “fix” it?


Rick Moody’s Human Values in Aging Newsletter has over 10,000 subscribers. It’s free w/ no advertising. A personal newsletter. No privacy-invading shenanigans.  Email Rick and he will add you to the list.

CVRCompWhile Rick goes deep, Chuck goes shallow – simply sticking a finger in the ocean and wriggling it around. Way back in 2005, in my book Advertising to Baby Boomers, a chapter dealing with some of the same issues:

Don’t Paint Too Rosy A Picture
A recent article in USA Today asks us to “take a moment to journey forward to 2046, when 79 million baby boomers will be 82 to 100 years old.”[i]  A paragraph later, the reporter asks, “So just what kind of America will be forged by this crowd of geriatric goliaths?”

Excuse me for being an unassuming ‘David’ (or even worse, a genocidal Grim Reaper) but I doubt very much that all 79 million Baby Boomers in the U.S. will still be alive in forty years, swaggering like giants – unless the medical establishment is holding out on me.

The good news you know: many Baby Boomers will live longer, healthier lives – more so than in any previous generations. The bad news you also know: a huge chunk of Boomers will pass on, and another huge chunk will be dealing with acute diseases and afflictions.  

The problem is that well-meaning articles in the press like the USA Today piece, along with mountains of 50+ marketing fodder, are setting up Boomers for a psychological fall.  There will be a backlash.

Not being a therapist, I won’t diagnose – but if it were beaten into my head over and over that things were going to be just peachy for the next forty years, that my same-aged friends will all be around laughing and cavorting while leading meaningful, vigorous lives—then, shock of shocks, many of us become incapacitated and/or drop and die – I will feel cheated.   I will become depressed and disillusioned.  It will happen even if I’m one of the ‘lucky’ healthy ones.

Ask today’s 80+ year olds about this or that and you’ll probably find that many are surprised (but relatively pleased) they’re still alive.  They believe they’ve beaten the odds, for whatever reasons.  Jump twenty-five, thirty years: if the myth of the non-dying, perfectly healthy Baby Boomer persists, folks in the aging industry are going to have millions of very angry octogenarians their hands.  They might even blame you for all those false promises.

How should this be dealt with by marketers and advertisers?  Contrary to popular myth, Baby Boomers do not believe that they are still teenagers or young adults. (Some probably do, but they need therapy.)  Boomers are slyly redefining what it means to be the ages they are.  Included in this new definition are some youthful attitudes – but the real change is that instead of winding down, many are winding up.  We’re not ‘looking forward to retirement,’ we’re looking forward to new lives, new challenges.  Only a small percentage will opt for pure retirement.

This is all part of redefining what it means to be the ages we are.  It may seem to some as  pathological, believing and acting as if we’re eighteen or twenty-five – but that’s because pundits and experts suspiciously eyeing this gargantuan, spirited, unwieldy and varied hoard of middle-agers have nothing to compare it to.  The only conclusion they can come to: Baby Boomers must a bit daft.

There is a big difference between thinking you are younger than you are – and not thinking that you are old.  This ‘night and day’ distinction may confuse many pundits, but it does not confuse most Boomers.

Much of this new, positive attitude about our future has to do with being the beneficiaries of so many fast and furious medical advances.  Some we have already taken advantage of, while others are ready and waiting for us – or right around the corner.  A good example is joint and hip replacement surgery.  The cane industry is in the doldrums, and we’re hoping it will never recover.

Another medical advance (still in its infancy, from what I’ve read) is pain management.  This promises Baby Boomers and successive generations freedom from a fear that haunts all as we age.

There has been plenty of press about Baby Boomers and their dread of Alzheimer’s.  Not much of a surprise.  Alzheimer’s affects many of our parents, we’re caring for them – and nothing frightens us more than not being in control of our own destinies.  However, from what I’ve read there may be some breakthroughs within the next twenty years.  That’s very good news.

Am I painting too rosy a picture here?  Isn’t this something I was railing against in the first few paragraphs?

Yes, but with a big difference.  All the examples above have to do with the quality of life – not the quantity.

If I were digging into a marketing/advertising campaign for a client in the aging industry, I would extract as much quality inherent in the product/service – and toss out any (or most) mention of longevity.  This would hold true even with basic nutritional and  exercise products.  A significant chunk of people who eat only healthy foods and  exercise regularly die of heart attacks, get cancer, are the victims of  all sorts of diseases and afflictions.  You can’t fool me.

But the quality of their lives in every respect will be superior to the ones who don’t take care of themselves, or avail themselves to what’s out there in the aging industry market.  

Nobody can promise you that you’ll live to be a hundred.  However, you can (more or less) make a good argument that healthy lifestyles and advances in modern medicine will offer you a quality life after sixty that no preceding generation had ever imagined.

[i] 2046: A boomer odyssey
By Marco R. della Cava, USA TODAY October 27, 2005

_____

There’s nothing wrong with being positive and aspirational – you just have to temper it with dollops of reality so your marketing won’t be dismissed as pie-in-the-sky nonsense.

21 July 2017

The Interminable Death of Television

[image[3].png]Nothing I can think of is as lively and chipper as television in its final throes.

If we all began dying as happily, healthily, slowly, and painlessly as TV, we wouldn’t fear the process - but welcome it. 

In fact, TV’s leisurely demise sounds just like normal, invigorating life to me.

The death knell first chimed in 2006:

Let's Just Declare TV Dead and Move On
imageThe poll may be more of a simple testament to the fact that as people spend more time on the Internet, television time suffers.

Regardless, the writing is on the wall.

Someone must’ve whitewashed that wall.  Just ugly graffiti anyway…

And in 2010 Television continued croaking:

Advertising Is Dead. Again.
Here’s a question I’ve never wondered about:

“What do viewers do during commercials?”

I just assumed that most viewers watch them. Now I find out the truth: Most viewers watch them.

Foretellings
… That silly retronym “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.

Spending goes where the eyeballs are.

In 2011 came the last gasps:

The Flat-Screen Rectangle of Common Sense
image… For the umpteenth time - The Most Effective Marketing/Advertising Model For Reaching Baby Boomers: What is now called traditional advertising pushing you to an age-friendly, informative product/services web site.

Then many years of final death wheezing and twitching:

20 January 2014
Television Repeats

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.

11 August 2014
How America is Watching TV

26 July 2016
Television Still Shining
OMG! The Internet STILL Hasn't Killed TV!

Now, finally, in 2017, Television (and Advertising) are dead and buried:

TV networks sell a record $19.7 billion in advertising
by Meg James (LA Times)
… Media Dynamics calculated that the price per viewer paid by advertisers at this year’s market was a 72% increase over the 2008 upfront. And overall revenue generated for commercials placed in prime-time programs soared 18% since 2008.

R.I.P.
Television and Advertising

Related image

05 June 2017

The Psychobabble Silly News: Bifurcated Boomers

It happens once or twice a year. Every so often I do a Google News search for Baby Boomers and two contradictory articles pop up one after the other. It’s like invoking Tweedledum and Tweedledee out of the ether.

The latest:

nextWhy Your Decades After 60 May Be Your Best
Retired people past that age are the most joyful. Here's why…

advisorBaby boomers are getting glum
… Its latest consumer confidence survey of 2,006 people in April 2017 showed that baby boomers were the most pessimistic age group.

Maybe we’re all joyful about being pessimistic.

Earlier Pairings:

21 May 2010
We’re all miserably happy, or …

Baby Boomers: An unhappy generation?
by Amy Sherman
image … Why does a recent survey from Pew Research on Demographic Trends state that of all the generations, baby boomers are considered the unhappiest and most discontent? Could it be because our work and personal responsibilities cause us too much stress? Or that we feel strapped, tired and just bummed out?

Daily stress and worry plummet after age 50 By Sharon Jayson
image After 50, daily stress and worry take a dive and daily happiness increases, according to an analysis of more than 340,000 adults questioned about the emotions they experienced "yesterday."

25 January 2017
The More Things Stay The Same, The More They Stay The Same

How baby boomers became the most selfish generation
imageThe baby boomers who have controlled this country since the 1980s are a selfish, entitled generation.

Baby Boomers Pitch In
imageSenior citizens are channeling time and money to volunteer efforts. One estimate: They’ll contribute $8 trillion in two decades.

Does any of this have anything to do with marketing and advertising?

Probably not much. My take from Advertising to Baby Boomers © 2005/2007:

[image[23].png]

01 May 2017

Brain Games or Mind Games?

More bad news for brain games:

Think brain games make you smarter? Think again, researchers say
imageBrain games marketed by the billion-dollar brain-training industry don't improve cognition or help prevent age-related brain decline, new research finds…

“The thing that seniors in particular should be concerned about is, if I can get very good at crossword puzzles, is that going to help me remember where my keys are? And the answer is probably no.”

Forget Brain Games — They Won't Make You Smarter

No big surprise for dumb Chuck. Eight years ago I was skeptical (but mostly skeptical of the outrageous claims with no proof):

02 March 2009
The Brain Games Game
… My first exposure to the recent spate of brain games was at the 2004 Boomer Business Summit.  I scratched my not-too-bright head and wondered what the difference was between a brain game and any mind-bending game: Rubik's Cube, Scrabble, Sudoku, etc.  Obviously, this new crop of revolutionary IQ busters improved your brain power while all the others were, I guess, just for laughs. 

chess…  And that’s what bothered me about the marketing – and still does.  Are these new-fangled blinking lights on a screen the best way, the only way to keep your noggin nimble?  This seems to be the claim.  Or are they a new breed in a long line of cognitive games that go back to counting pebbles on a cave floor?

image_thumb2You certainly get the ‘hard-sell’ impression that if you don’t buy and play these games, eventually your brain will leak out of your nose and ears…

Now we have proof.  Brain games do nothing but entertain – and don’t say otherwise or this is what’ll happen if you do:

06 January 2016
Brain Games: Hocus-Pocus Hyperbole
Looks like a not-so-bright company hawking a make-me-bright online game is in non-virtual hot water…

Want to kill time at the airport? Take out your smartphone and play a brain game. Want to get smarter? Read a book. Want to stay smart? Re-read a book.


Just for fun:

imageThe Live Forever Diet
by Chuck Nyren
Scrumptious and so simple to prepare even a 112-year-old can do it.

07 April 2017

Much More Some of The News That’s Fit To Print

walterwinchellGood evening, Mr. and Mrs. Marketing from continent to continent and satellite to server and all the ships at sea. Let's go to press

Steve Lubetkin is tired of the myth that baby boomers aren’t tech-savvy.  He thinks he’s tired??? I’ve been exhausted for almost a dozen sSB7_nlIyears … Ever wonder what type of advertising is the least disliked?  Or the most trusted? I spilled most of the beans way back in 2007Kevin Lavery has warned us. His blog contains adult content

imageFrom the It’s All About Me Files: Small business gears up for baby boomers according to Marjo Johne of The Globe and Mail (you’ll find a quote or two from Yours Truly) …  This blog made the list (#40):  Top 70 Advertising Blogs And Websites for Advertising Agencies & Firms

Talk of The Town: Max Wells chats with Marc Freedman of Encore.org Carol Orsborn is as fierce as everSusan Silver in NYC still looks hot in hot pants while hawking her tell-almost-all memoir, Hot Pants in HollywoodThe Society for Women’s Health Research honors AARP media maven Myrna Blyth

headDon’t spend too much time hanging out here or anywhere else on the WWW. Psychologists claim social media ‘increases loneliness’NostraChuckus told you this years ago but obviously you weren’t listening …

… ‘til next time…..

15 March 2017

Something Old, Something Old, Something Borrowed, Something Old

Actually, everything in this post is old and borrowed.

Has wearable tech had its day?
By Zoe Kleinman Technology reporter, BBC News
https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTBY7t7OmZYBRoSEwSJc7Effi6xJQTeoP2mZKX788CygiHEZA6mMwThis time last year analysts were making multi-billion dollar forecasts for the developers of health trackers and smartwatches … But by November 2016 Smartwatch shipments declined by 51.6% year-on-year …

… Jawbone, once a popular fitness tracker brand, confirmed to TechCrunch that it is leaving the consumer market and focusing on healthcare providers … Microsoft has removed its Fitness Band on its online store … and crucially no longer provides the Band developer kits.

And if you read to the end, they’re still optimistic. 

My old and borrowed takes:

Never Leave The Hospital! Health Tech Wearables, Implanted Chips
By Chuck Nyren
huffington_post_logo1I'm having issues. I'm worried that the medical industry might want me to worry too much about my health. A little worry is good. But constant worry? It seems as if they want me to think of nothing else but my vital signs for the rest of my life.

Finally Live The Life You've Always Wanted With Wearables!
2014-11-14-beany.jpgBy Chuck Nyren
… Along with Google Glasses, you'll also be wearing Google Nose and Google Mouth.

15 OCTOBER 2015
Baby Boomers Not Wearing Wearables
… My guess is that we’re a decade away from wearables we might want to wear. Even then we might not want to wear them.


Industry Arrives at a Consensus on Online Advertising
by Brian Jacobs
image… Since the media world exploded and we all started talking digital gobbledegook the BS filter gets clogged, and all sorts of rubbish gets through (and all sorts of good stuff gets blocked) when that happens.

Then there’s the ads. Sad to say they’ve become ludicrously irrelevant, the province of the luddite creatives…

My takes on this are so old and borrowed they’re threadbare:

03 OCTOBER 2016
Digital Ad Shenanigans
image

Social Media - WOMM - Web Advertising



Top model agency responds to baby boomer spending power
by Helen Leggatt
imageThe growing buying power, and lust for life, of the post-war baby boomer generation has led to one of Europe's leading model agencies to launch a new division – RETRO….

Some of many:

05 OCTOBER 2007
London & Marks & Spencer
… The adverts use Twiggy and three other models of various ages - very age-neutral marketing.

02 JULY 2008
Demand for older models grows

13 JUNE 2013
Are you model material?


Thanks to Christopher Simpson for telling me about this:

50 Years Later, Heinz Approves Don Draper’s ‘Pass the Heinz’ Ads and Is Actually Running Them

I remember laughing when Draper was pitching a campaign to Lucky Strike around the concept of It's Toasted, Lucky Strike's slogan created in 1917.

Mad Men was either 40 years behind the times or 50 years ahead of it. It may have missed the 1960s altogether.


Just for fun:

76 Million Sociopaths Outed
by Chuck Nyren
[image%255B6%255D.png]… As someone who does not have impressive degrees in history or sociology, I was thinking, just off the top of my head, how an eminent scholar (as the author assuredly is) might go about researching and ultimately arriving at the startling conclusion that baby boomers are a generation of sociopaths…

15 February 2017

The Age of Portmanteau

If I may coin a phrase, we’re living in the Age of Portmanteau, what with Bromance, Sexting, Frankenfood, and dozens of other blends bandied about – even by reputable news sources (if there are any anymore).

A new one: Boomaissance.

I swear I didn’t make it up.  Some marketing firm did. A humongous marketing firm.

Boomaissance: While the media remains smitten with Millennials, it's the Boomers who control 70% of the disposable income in this country. The tide is turning—older is becoming cooler as Boomers take on a "Middle Aged Millennial" mindset…

Tell me some youngsters didn’t write this. Of course, all us old folks do is just sit around all day wanting to be Millennials…

Such Hubrilescence!  (I made that up. A blend of hubris and adolescence.)

We weren’t that different when we were their age:

11 February 2008
Me vs. We
[mevsyou.jpg]… Talk to some folks in their twenties, thirties. They are now in that ‘me’ stage. It’s healthy, smart for them to be so. I was just like them thirty years ago, get a big bang out of them, admire their boundless creativity, energy – and self-obsession. These ‘me generation’ twentysomethings today will become a ‘we generation’ in thirty years…

But we do not have or want millennial mindsets.  Two quotes from my book (2005):

CVRComp… Contrary to popular myth, Baby Boomers do not believe that they are still teenagers or young adults. (Some probably do, but they need therapy.) Boomers are slyly redefining what it means to be the ages they are. Included in this new definition are some youthful attitudes - but the real change is that instead of winding down, many are winding up. We're not 'looking forward to retirement,' we're looking forward to new lives, new challenges…

There is a big difference between thinking you are younger than you are, and not thinking that you are old. This “night and day” distinction may confuse many pundits, but it does not confuse most Boomers…

Of course, any Boomaissance advertising created by Millennials that assume all Boomers want to be Millennials have failed and will fail. 

And maybe that’s been my problem all along! While I’ve been writing about hiring older creatives for over a decade…

The Human Resources/Brain Power Posts

… I never came up with a proper portmanteau to promote the concept of age diversity in advertising agencies. Let me give it a whirl:

Boomlennial (Boomer and Millennial)

Juveluvian (Juvenile and Antediluvian)

Youngacious (Young and Sagacious)

I’ll keep trying.


Just for fun.  Absolutely nothing to do with advertising:

imageNo Goblins
by Chuck Nyren
…I don’t watch TV shows with goblins. Or draculas or monsters of any kind. Which means I don’t watch much TV anymore...

01 February 2017

Black Ops Advertising by Mara Einstein

I blogged this book already – without reading it.  Now I’ve read it.

Good one, recommended if you don’t mind getting sick to your stomach. Stay away if you’re prone to paranoia. As for me, it just got me all itchy and queasy.

So far, this might not seem to be a positive review. It is one. But like most of what’s on the web nowadays, how do you know if it’s fact, advertising, fiction, advertising, drivel, advertising, truth, advertising? Professor Einstein does what she can to sort it all out.

Image resultI’ve been following this cesspool for over a decade and writing about it here for just as long. The power of Black Ops Advertising: Native Ads, Content Marketing and the Covert World of the Digital Sell is the cumulative effect of all the advertising/marketing/public relations slop roiling in digital ether – contained in one book.

Two visceral takeaways:

Rolling on the floor laughing  What a wacky virtual world we live in!  Streams of prose, pictures, videos, all not what they seem.  Alice in Wonderland, by comparison, is rather prosaic.

Nyah-Nyah  And speaking of Looking Glasses and such, it never occurred to me that my computer screen and smartphone are really one-way mirrors. (Or are they called two-way mirrors? See? It’s all so confusing!) While I stare at my screen, literally hundreds, probably thousands of people are staring back at me, following me everywhere I go, watching and recording my every move. And here I thought I was merely reading Google News and checking my email.  It makes me want to scream at each of them with that tired retort, “GET A LIFE!”

imageReviewed in
The Guardian:

Black Ops Advertising by Mara Einstein review – stealth marketing is everywhere
by Steven Poole
…Profiling may be scandalous when the police do it, but it is all the rage online…

25 January 2017

The More Things Stay The Same, The More They Stay The Same

In this topsy-turvy world where there are boggling upheavals every 5-minute news cycle, it’s comforting to know that some things will always remain the same.  

Forget the millennials, online travel could be missing the boom time 
imageYoung, slick, mobile-savvy millennials, if many headlines are to be believed, are the customer segment that many travel startups first target…

As it was, almost a dozen years ago…

14 November 2005
My Favorite Cyber-Myth
…Hitwise found that visitors to the top travel search engines were by far likely to be over 55 years of age. Hitwise attributed this to baby boomers…

15 April 2006
Insatiable Appetite for Information
…Of the travel content viewed by this group, over 70% takes place on agency, hotel supplier, and airline carrier websites…

Dick Stroud has no problems opening this can of worms:

Package design is the dark horse of the marketing world. So says Nielsen.
image… So much packaging design assumes the customer has 20/20 vision, a knowledge of how the packaging works and the hand and grip and strength of a wrestler.

I had no problems over a decade ago:

12 June 2006
Boomers in Candyland
…I can rip open any dumb, stupid candy wrapper with my bare hands – as long as one of my bare hands is holding a pair of pliers…

The thrill starts with the grille…

The Crazy Logic Of Media Strategy
Ad Contrarian
image… But why in the fucking world would you direct those commercials at 20 year olds? If your objective is to sell more cars, and people over 50 are 4 times as valuable to you, why in the world would your media target be millennials?

grillethrill12 March 2009
Who’s gonna buy this car?
… I’ve blabbered about this for years.  In 2005 on The Advertising Show yours truly had a spirited discussion with hosts Brad Forsythe and Ray Schilens.  A chunky segment was about marketing autos to Boomers.

Baby Boomers are wonderful, Baby Boomers are horrible. Today and years ago.

Today:

How baby boomers became the most selfish generation
imageThe baby boomers who have controlled this country since the 1980s are a selfish, entitled generation.

Baby Boomers Pitch In
imageSenior citizens are channeling time and money to volunteer efforts. One estimate: They’ll contribute $8 trillion in two decades.

Years Ago:

April 8, 1997
The Anti Boomer Page 

22 October 2009
Me vs. We Redux Redux
…Did any generation apologize for The Great Depression? I’ll have to check the history books.  If not, it should.  Some of those evil bastards must still be alive.  Anybody over ninety-eight had better atone…

So don’t feel too bad. Not everything is changing.  As I’ve said, take comfort in that.

Now I’m going to make myself some comfort food – maybe a grilled-cheese sandwich and a glass of chocolate milk with a straw – and watch the evening news.