09 October 2018

AARP & NostraChuckus

crystalIt’s been a banner year for NostraChuckus, famed Soothsayer of The Mundane and The Obvious.  However, even he could not have predicted such a banner year for himself:

09 January 2018
2018: The Year of Big
… Advertisers will finally follow simple common sense, something a certain seer has been urging for years …

26 MARCH 2018
NostraChuckus’ Crystal Ball of Common Sense has spot-on prognosticated what would come true in 2018

02 JULY 2018
The Year Of Big Gets Bigger
NostraChuckus, famed soothsayer of the obvious, continues to amaze with his humdrum prognostications…

19 SEPTEMBER 2018
NostraChuckus’ Crystal Ball of Common Sense vs. Apple Watch
… While both offerings are worthy, we prefer The Crystal Ball because it can actually tell the future of the Apple Watch …

Now this:

AARP to Take On Ageism, Enlists Former Ad Executive Cindy Gallop
Image result for wall street journal logo… Madison Avenue has long been obsessed by youth and its workforce tends to be weighted toward the younger generation…

“The ad industry is an extremely ageist industry,” said Ms. Gallop, who added that she plans on pressuring agencies into hiring more older people…”

“When you have older people creating, producing and approving ads, the problem is easily solved,” Ms. Gallop added …

NostraChuckus in 2003 (via The Wayback Machine):

Advertising to Baby Boomers: Back into the Fold
The Giant Leap: There had better be a minor revolution in the creative end of the advertising industry. Talented men and women in their late forties and fifties need to be brought back into the fold if you want to reach us. This includes copywriters, graphic artists, producers, directors, and creative directors.

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.

The book of prophesy © 2005/2007:

Intro and First Chapter (PDF)

NostraChuckus’ Crystal Ball of Common Sense is getting hazy now……

Image result for crystal ball gif

19 September 2018

NostraChuckus’ Crystal Ball of Common Sense vs. Apple Watch

2018-09-19_133828
A quick comparison of NostraChuckus’ Crystal Ball of Common Sense and the new Apple Watch:

crystal apple

Our Pick: NostraChuckus’ Crystal Ball of Common Sense

While both offerings are worthy, we prefer The Crystal Ball because it can actually tell the future of the Apple Watch:

image_thumb1NostraChuckus in 2014:
Never Leave The Hospital! Health Tech Wearables, Implanted Chips
… Wired ‘n Monitored will create a whole new disorder for the mental health industry. Having devices wrapped around you or implanted that constantly flash and beep will cause over-the-top anxiety.

Image result for washington post logoWashington Post in 2018:
What cardiologists think about the Apple Watch’s heart-tracking feature
.. Some doctors said that including heart-monitoring tools in such a popular consumer product could trigger unnecessary anxiety and medical visits.

Modern (and ancient) tech gadgets can be helpful – but picking the right one for you is often a challenge. Do you want to know all about the present? Or the future?

It all comes down to personal preferences.

11 September 2018

From The Nothing New Dept : Retail’s New Niche

imageRetail's new niche: Aging baby boomers
The number of senior citizens in the United States is expected to nearly double by 2050, creating a fast-growing niche for retailers and manufacturers.

Odd sentence. What is an ‘aging’ baby boomer? I guess one who isn’t dead.

How about ‘fast-growing niche’? I guess in the grand scheme of things, thirty-odd years is a nanosecond. 

The Baby Boomer Market is a ‘niche’?  I guess the Pacific Ocean is a niche.

imageExecutives at Gillette have for decades defined shaving as a rite of passage … in recent years, executives have begun to see another milestone emerge in their customers’ lives: the moment when sons begin shaving their aging fathers.

Smart that Gillette understands the difference between 50-70 year-olds and an 80-100 year-olds. Few advertisers do.

A touching, sweet video:


… At Best Buy, the focus is increasingly on aging Americans who live at home …

Step one: Make it easier for adults to keep tabs on their aging parents. The company’s Assured Living program, introduced a year ago, uses a network of sensors to alert caretakers to changes in routine.

Best Buy’s acquisition of GreatCall … (has) two Jitterbug phones — one with a touch screen, the other a flip phone.

imageWill their youngish sales force be trained to differentiate between fifty-sixty somethings and eighty-ninety somethings?

I’m sixty-seven. If I walk into a Best Buy and say, “I’m looking for a smartphone,” and the salesperson steers me to a Jitterbug, I’d turn around and walk out. If I walk in and say, “I’m looking for a smartphone for my father” – I would be happy if he/she steers me to a Jitterbug.

We’ll see.


Yours Truly is participating in a project/startup:

image

08 August 2018

TV Spots I Remember

My previous post:

28 or 52 or 103 Things Only Baby Boomers Remember 

While banging it out I began thinking about commercials that have stuck with me through the years. They’re not necessarily the best or most famous – simply ones I loved, knocked me out.

Although the advertising revolution was well under way by 1965, I remember first seeing this commercial (I’m fourteen) and just going batty. I had no idea what I was watching. No commercial before had ever started and continued non-stop as a montage. Every image was memorable. Montages of any sort weren’t really used much on television – in commercials or programs:



Volkswagen Ads. There were so many. A great mini-doc:

The VW spot I went nutty over was for the Bus/Station Wagon. I swear I remember it being a minute long. An old couple is walking down a residential city street, looking for an address. They find it, walk up a few flights of stairs, then ...


Stone-faced absurdity. I’d never seen anything like it in a commercial. The actress playing the mother makes it all work.

Special effects. They’re all over the screen today. In the 1960s this was about as good as it got:

How about a spot whose sole purpose was not to use special effects? Talk about thrills and chills…

There is no ‘greatest commercial ever’ – except, of course, the Volkswagen Snow-Plow commercial:

My favorite greatest commercial ever:

Simple message: FedEx=Fast.

23 July 2018

28 or 52 or 103 Things Only Baby Boomers Remember

There are hundreds of lists of things only Baby Boomers will remember. I stumble upon a new one every month or so.

The latest one from Good Housekeeping:

image
28 Things Only Baby Boomers Will Remember


imageUsually, some Baby Boomer puts these lists together. This time, no. So there are anachronisms and cognitive dissonances every which way - telephones, gas stations, cars from the 1930s and 1940s, and so on. For example, the picture above is captioned:

 Whether it was The Beatles or the Beach Boys, people born in the '50s definitely remember buying their first vinyl record and listening to it over and over again.

Hmmm. That’s not quite the way I remember it. What pops up in my mind is one of these:

Related image

Here’s a better list:

image37 Things Every Baby Boomer Will Remember

22. Your doctor would lecture you about junk food while smoking a cigarette in your face.

23. You didn’t know who was calling you until you actually picked up the phone.

24. You know the anticipation of waiting for a polaroid picture to develop.

There are loads of better lists.

Now, think about a 25-year-old creative putting together an ad campaign targeting Baby Boomers.

The Human Resources/Brain Power Posts

From the vaults:

15 March 2010
Hire Baby Boomer Creatives
imageTruth 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 … 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.

Generations Make Better Decisions Together

02 July 2018

The Year Of Big Gets Bigger

imageNostraChuckus, famed soothsayer of the obvious, continues to amaze with his humdrum prognostications:

21 July 2017
The Interminable Death of Television
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.

09 January 2018
2018: The Year of Big
That’s my prediction. Advertisers will finally follow simple common sense, something a certain seer has been urging for years…

26 March 2018
NostraChuckus’ Crystal Ball of Common Sense has spot-on prognosticated what would come true in 2018

And now …

imageDirect-to-consumer brands see gains from traditional TV
For many direct-to-consumer companies trying to diversify their marketing away from Facebook and into traditional media, TV stands as a new opportunity…

Iconic brand advertising on TV isn't going anywhere

Traditional TV rolls with the times, remains a viable entertainment channel to both viewers and advertisers

Go90 promised to reinvent the TV ad model. Instead it's shutting down

Social media ads increasingly less popular among viewers

NostraChuckus often gets bored seeing the same thing over and over in his Crystal Ball of Common Sense. Instead, he’ll be staring at this for awhile:

Image result for television test pattern

22 June 2018

Reefer Madness

Image result for canadian marijuana flag

In some places it’s legal. In other places it’s sort of legal.

It’s now legal in Canada.

You can smoke it, eat it, spray it on body parts or someone else’s body parts.

https://thehipp.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Reefer-Madness.jpegThere’s a suppository. 

Lots of suppositories.

You can get really ripped or simply become moderately pain-free. Or both.

If I listed all of marijuana’s claims – valid, maybe valid, yet-to-be-determined, complete poppycock – you’d go mad.

The reefer madness today is its marketing and advertising. What a mess.

I’m in a category: The Baby Boomers Who Smoked Lots Of Grass Way Back When, Stopped For The Most Part, Now Might Want to Get Back Into It Again For Medical Reasons And/Or Just For Fun.

But I have no idea where to start, what goes on in these places. I do know that I don’t want to walk into a cannabis shop like a hayseed right off the bus.

But I am a hayseed right off the bus. All I know I learned from watching one episode of a bad sitcom.

Leafly is fascinating, but I’m lost:
     image

I just want a nickel bag. Although I know today it’ll cost me $50.00.

If there is some sort of National Marijuana Association and it wants to promote their products to the 50+ market, the best advertising would be simple, direct information. The less creative the better.

After I’m stoned you can get goofy, silly, and confusing. I won’t care.

31 May 2018

Smart Bathrooms

imageNow everything is smart. Even bathrooms. Even everything in bathrooms.

There are smart showers, smart tubs, smart toilets, smart sinks, smart medicine cabinets, smart soap dispensers, smart floors, ceilings and walls, smart lights, towel racks, tooth brushes.

They’re all smarter than I am. They all make me feel dumb.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, I don’t believe that hanging out with smart things will make you smarter. All my life I’ve been hanging out with dumb things, had to figure them out myself, which probably made me smarter. I think.

Or I could be wrong. With all these smart things, you have to first figure out how to figure out how use them. Maybe smart things do make you smarter.

Aging In Place. Universal Design. Technology. 
Smart-whatevers have taken over.

My litmus test for smart-whatevers: Does it make something simpler (good) or more complicated (bad)?

Rising Wall Bathtub

image

While understanding the possible need for an easier method of stepping into a bathtub, for most people this design/technology complicates a simple activity – taking a bath. We are used to running a bath and getting in after it is full. During the video, I kept wondering if, with all the features and buttons and whatnot, you might accidentally lower the side and flood the bathroom. Probably an irrational fear, but I bet other people might have the same thoughts. This is a negative reaction and will turn people away. The regular ol’ step-in bath/shower/spa seems easier to use and safer.

Image result for step-in bathtub

Toilet Lift

SMSS-2T

This is a horror show. An accident ready to happen. And not to get too graphic – but what if you really have to go? A serious concern as you get older.

Touch-less Toilets

image

Watch Video

A perfect example of making something simpler, not more complicated. I don't even care about the hygienic attributes - it simply makes things simpler.

Smart Shower

image

Watch Video (if you’re that bored)

A perfect example of making something simple absurdly complicated. You want to take a shower – not have a showerhead with a mind of its own or play video/computer games. A dumb shower.

Self-Cleaning Toilet

image

Watch Video

Makes things easier and less complicated. The original ‘self-cleaning’ toilet is a flush toilet. This improves on the original concept with no added complexity for the user.

Horizontal Shower

image

Watch Video

I have no idea what the point of this is. If someone can’t stand up, there are plenty of chair/seat options available – along with hand-held showerheads. Sexy video, however. A humorous take on the product:
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/house-and-homes-blog/2012/feb/02/horizontal-shower-worst-invention-ever

So do smart-whatevers make you smarter or dumber? 

I don’t know, but pretty soon you’ll need a technology degree to pee.
____

Thanks to Tony Berrio Gallego for collecting these links.

18 May 2018

The more things stay the same…

CVRCompA long time ago I wrote a book. When it was published, I read it.

I was shocked.

I had no idea that I’d written a book about Human Resources. It certainly wasn’t what I thought I’d written. It was as if you thought you’d written a science fiction novel and it ended up being a cookbook.

I was reminded of this yesterday while reading an article in Tech Republic:

3 reasons why hiring older tech pros is a smart decision
By Alison DeNisco Rayome
image… “The combination of a stereotype that older adults don't use technology, and the fact that younger people are doing the development, has implications," Mitzner said. Not only are older workers being overlooked, but products that could reach a large segment of the population are not designed to do so.”

‘….Wait … I wrote a book about this in 2005, even though I didn’t think I was writing it …. Same plot, same themes, different setting, different characters.  But it’s my book …

Should I sue for plagiarism???

A blog post (before there were blogs) from 2003:

Back into the Fold
The Giant Leap: There had better be a minor revolution in the creative end of the advertising industry. Talented men and women in their late forties and fifties need to be brought back into the fold if you want to reach us. This includes copywriters, graphic artists, producers, directors, and creative directors.

The first few chapters of that moldy, old book:

Intro-First Chapter (PDF)

And a collection of posts about Human Resources:

Human Resources/Brain Power

The more things stay the same, the more they stay the same.

04 May 2018

Banner Blindness

Image result for where's waldoIt’s a type of blindness you welcome.

Often after googling something, finding the info you’re looking for on a webpage can be as frustrating as trying to find Waldo.

Banner Blindness Revisited: Users Dodge Ads on Mobile and Desktop
by Kara Pernice
image… To complete their tasks efficiently, people have learned to pay attention to elements that typically are helpful (e.g., navigation bars, search boxes, headlines) and ignore those which are usually void of information. Ads are perhaps the most prominent member of this last category …

I’ve written about this recently…

26 March 2018
NostraChuckus’ Crystal Ball of Common Sense has spot-on prognosticated what would come true in 2018

I’ve written about it for years…

06 March 2012
Digital Distractions
Digital interruptions are headache-inducing.

12 March 2012
Digital Distractions II
…The point is that Facebook is a social medium, not an advertising one … You interrupt social conversations with commercial messages at your peril…

And there’s this *WARNING: AUTOPLAY VIDEO!* (yes, I get the irony):

Four in 10 consumers scroll past and no longer trust social ads
Image result for ZDNetBy Eileen Brown
Consumers are constantly distracted by digital media and content and are losing trust in brands, according to a new study.

Maybe it’s time for advertisers to ‘get with it’ and stop relying on musty, outdated, tired media like the web and mobile:

Image result for transistor radioBrands Need to Join the 21st Century and Tap Into Radio Advertising
By Jateen Parekh
The audio market is booming…

25 April 2018

Women Redux

It’s been only a few months since I blogged about the power and influence of women:

21 February 2018
imageWomen
… Ten, twelve years ago there were older women. Now there are older women younger than I am. Weird. It’s some strange time/space warp I’m living in.

Mature women are just all over the place. Take a look:

imageMeet Fashion’s Next Generation: Over 60s
… Baby boomers have been largely absent from advertising, especially in high-fashion, despite driving 42 percent of spending in the US, versus 13 percent for millennial and Gen-Z consumers … Typically, companies gear their campaigns towards a younger demographic, assuming the ads will also appeal to their parents. Now, some companies are reversing that formula.

Here’s a brave campaign, certainly braver than one from a few years ago:

Ads for pee-proof underwear campaign redefine the customers who wear them
by Zoƫ Beery
image New York-based underwear company Icon’s strategy is to go all in with a cheeky, flippant message. Today, their "Piss Off" campaign takes over the Bryant Park subway station in Manhattan…

Pee-Proof Underwear Brand Launches ‘Piss Off’ Campaign To End The Stigma Of Bladder Leaks
imagePeriod-proof underwear company Thinx is taking on the incontinence industry with its sister brand Icon, “patented pee-proof underwear that lets leaky ladies kick pantyliners (and the lame stigma of bladder leaks) to the curb.”

And GRAND Magazine features a cover photo and article about model Yazemeenah Rossi (note: my interest is purely professional):

imageYAZEMEENAH ROSSI: Secrets To …
by Wendy Packer
… Contrary to what some people may think about women in their 60s, Yazemeenah feels prettier today than ever before … She is also very popular on Instagram with women in their 20s and 30s seeking advice on how to stay well as we age …

From The Remember When Files:

21 February 2007
Dove Pro-Age Campaign
… There is a big difference between thinking you are younger than you are, and not thinking that you are old …

15 April 2018

Generations Make Better Decisions Together

That’s what a blogger for Forbes tells us:

Future Of Work: Research Shows Millennials, Gen Xers And Baby Boomers Make Better Decisions Together
by Erik Larson
“Decision-making teams that include a wide range of younger and older employees significantly outperform more narrowly young or old teams.”

Good article, worth a read. But it’s difficult to get too excited about this musty revelation. Yours truly and many others have been saying the same for years.

From my book © 2005:

0976697319.01.I have a business friend who wants to start an advertising agency that would only accept clients whose products are for the 50-plus market, and he wants to hire only people over fifty, from the receptionist on up. It’s hard not to applaud such an idea, but I wouldn’t want to work there. And it wouldn’t be because of the receptionist. I’ve met some gorgeous, very smart ones who’ve mentioned to me that they’re grandmothers. (They’ve got to be lying.) The reason I wouldn’t work there is because I love working with people in their twenties. They sizzle. They’re galvanized. They charge me up.

Lots more:

Diversity = Productivity (2008)
image... Scott E. Page, a professor of complex systems, political science and economics at the University of Michigan, is a fresh voice... Rather than ponder moral questions like, “Why can’t we all get along?” Dr. Page asks practical ones like, “How can we all be more productive together?” The answer, he suggests, is in messy, creative organizations and environments with individuals from vastly different backgrounds and life experiences.

You Know Who's Boss – Consumers (2007)
But Do You Really Know Them Well?
image … It makes all the sense in the world for ad makers (both clients and agencies) to be well-stocked with people who understand consumers, whether young people who fathom the mysteries of cyberspace, a good mixture of people who reflect the ethnic and cultural diversity of our country, and, yes, even older people who understand the vitality and buying power of the great gorge of baby boomers overtaking our land.

Talk about the need for greater diversity in the business largely has fallen on deaf ears. (2013)
Nobody likes to be told whom they should hire -- unless it can be demonstrated that hiring the right mix of people can improve the bottom line…

Intergenerational Teams A Strength (2013)
The company focuses on recruiting new talent and retaining the services of experienced employees, which often results in the creation of inter-generational teams tackling company projects together.

So hire or work with someone who’s not you. You already have a you. Why would you need another one?

02 April 2018

Wearables, Home Monitors

A short video popped up on one of my feeds. It’s from the UK, is a few years old - but I’d never seen it:


I liked it, sent links to a few folks.

imageRonni Bennett blogged it.  Her take on home monitors and wearables brilliantly (and hilariously) complements the video:

Crabby Old Lady and Home Monitors for Elders
image… Marketed as a way to help elders live independently at home for as long as possible, hardly anyone has spent much effort yet to find out how the spied-upon old people feel about inanimate objects acting as nannies and tattling to their human controllers …

Also read the comments.

I’ve been screaming about over-the top monitor/wearable doodads for almost a decade.  A few moldy posts and two Huffpo pieces:

05 December 2009
Microsoft & AARP Study: Boomers & Tech II
image… How biofeedback-onic do you really want to be while taking a walk in the woods or playing some doubles?…  It’s a mark of honor to sustain a sports injury, but I’d feel rather silly if I were limping about and had to tell everyone, “I fell over while Wii-ing …”

15 October 2015
Baby Boomers Not Wearing Wearables
[image3.png]… While we’re not sailing around slaying metaphors, we are doing something almost as unforgivable: we’re getting old. What a curse.
And apparently we’re all supposed to strap on high-tech wearables as penance …

Never Leave The Hospital! Health Tech Wearables, Implanted Chips
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!
… Along with Google Glasses, you'll also be wearing Google Nose and Google Mouth.

Most of these gizmos are useless, will fall by the wayside. They also may turn out to be harmful. As you get older you have to hone your senses, not lull them. These whizzing, beeping doodads are often distracting and/or give you a false sense of security.

And the ones that are helpful won’t be an easy sell. So far, most of the advertising is clumsy and patronizing.