23 December 2019

End Of Year Links: 2019

I’m just so tired. Probably of politics. So this last post of the year is going to be snooze-worthy. There’s no energy left.

Most popular post of the year:

Goings On About Town
… Ranking The Best Five Toilet Papers For Seniors

My favorite post of the year:

Reefer Madness Redux
… Along with my more-significant-than-I-am other, I finally made it into one of these new-fangled headshops. Quite a culture shock. No day-glo posters of Dylan, The Doors, or Hendrix.

Abbie Rosner’s follow-up post:

Two Ways Cannabis Companies Can Show Baby Boomers They Care
… Not all Baby Boomers are looking for medicinal tinctures …

Ronni Bennett gathered up all the best 2019 Christmas commercials from the U.K.:

British Christmas Adverts – Part 1

British Christmas Adverts – Part 2

I’m not that impressed this year. Of course, some are good. The problem is I’m sick of CGI. The simple, straightforward ones are more effective. 

Here’s one Ronni missed (0r rejected) that’s very sweet and touching. And cliched and maudlin. Just like Christmas spots are supposed to be:

That’s all. Happy Holidays. I’m gonna take a nap.

26 November 2019

People hate ads.

*The following post is about advertising to baby boomers.

A shocking research report featured in The New York Times:

The Advertising Industry Has a Problem: People Hate Ads
By Tiffany Hsu

… The advertising industry faces an “existential need for change,” according to a blunt report published on Monday by the research firm Forrester. Now the agencies must “disassemble what remains of their outmoded model” or risk “falling further into irrelevance,” the report concludes.
And there are various surveys from multiple sources to back this up:

Scary!  Except … I forgot to add the dates of these surveys:

Most of the above statistics are from The Mirror Makers by Stephen Fox:

So not much has changed. Or maybe a lot has changed.  Nowadays:
… As advertisers bombard consumers across platforms like Twitch, Facebook, television, billboards and more, consumers are trying to get away, signing up for ad blockers and subscription services …
The truth is messier. Few people admit to enjoying ads. In the olden days, advertising on radio and television was often tastelessly intertwined. Today (or maybe it was ten years ago, it’s hard to keep up) we would call this Madison & Vine or Product Placement or Native Advertising or Stealth Advertising. There were complaints, and things changed. By the late 1950s, you listened to/watched a program – then came the commercial breaks. This technique is still effective today.

Most people don’t mind and many even like advertising - if it’s positioned as such, doesn’t constantly bombard you.  I wrote about this years ago:
06 March 2012
Digital Distractions

Advertisers are getting wise to the drawbacks of marketing in the digital nest … The more people use smartphones, the less they’ll tolerate silly graphical doodads mucking up their small screens.
Back to the NYT article:
… Agencies must “disassemble what remains of their outmoded model” or risk “falling further into irrelevance,” the report concludes …

The “outmoded model” happened when the internet exploded – and the industry became greedy. With greed came all this and this and this:

Digital Ad Shenanigans
It’s been a bad week or so for online advertising foolishness and chicanery.

Black Ops Advertising by Mara Einstein
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.

Follow this crazy guy if you want to know more:

The Ad Contrarian

*The link below is to a silly piece about advertising to baby boomers:

Should older people be allowed to change their age?
by Chuck Nyren
Nov 4 · 2 min read

22 October 2019

Jumping On The Bandwagon

Cindy Gallop hops on:
Disrupting Ageism in Advertising
By Grace Birnstengel
This outspoken 2019 Influencer in Aging has a few choice words for the ad world…
From a 2017 post about Joseph Coughlin:
…. There are lots of folks who’ve educated us and continue to educate us. Names off the top of my head: Robert N. Butler, David Wolfe, Ken Dychtwald, John Migliaccio, Kurt Medina, Matt Thornhill, Brent Green, Marti Barletta, Mary Furlong, Myrna Blyth, Carol Orsborn, Rick Moody, Mark Miller, Paul Kleyman, Scott Rains, Kevin Lavery, Dick Stroud, Reg Starkey, Laurie Orlov, Richard Adler, Todd Harff, Bill Thomas, Louis Tenenbaum, Arjan in’t Veld, Martijn de Haas, David Cravit, Moses Znaimer, Maxime de Jenlis, Florian Kohlbacher, Christopher Simpson, Gail Sheehy, Marc Middleton, Ronni Bennett, Jim Gilmartin, Gill Walker, Dave McCaughan, Kim Walker, Tony Mariani, Barry Robertson, Frédéric Serriere, Bob Hoffman, have I left any out? No doubt.
CNext Avenueulled from the Next Avenue interview:
“There’s a very simple way to address negative stereotype depictions of aging in advertising. When you have older people creating ads, producing, approving — problem solved.”

Sounds familiar. A 2003 article of mine courtesy of The Way Back 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 … 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.

For more background, download the Intro & 1st Chapter of Advertising to Baby Boomers (selected as a Classroom Resource by The Advertising Educational Foundation)
Intro & First Chapter (PDF)
There’s also a chapter in the book titled Get Rid of The Stereotypes.

It’s great to have Ms. Gallop aboard.
*** The above is an update post from last October:
AARP & NostraChuckus

24 September 2019

Another Dumb Article


HISTORY CORNER: Tragic Hindenburg disaster ends zeppelins as air transportation For years I’ve blogged about no news news. One of too many posts:
16 NOVEMBER 2015
The Déjà Vu No New News
It’s always a treat to get up, make some coffee, open the newspaper (pixels or pulp) and read nothing new.
And recently, I promised never to link to any more dumb articles:
17 APRIL 2019
No News News & Fake News
…Someone over at one of the major business magazines recently wrote about Baby Boomers, advertising/marketing, technology. He said nothing I (and others) haven’t been saying for almost twenty years…
Here’s the dilemma: There’s a brand-new no news news article I don’t want to link to -- but the comments are fun and worth reading.

So close your left eye and just read what’s on the right:
Older People Are Ignored and Distorted in Ageist Marketing, Report Finds

16 August 2019

That Big Concert Fifty Years Ago

I wasn’t there. If you want, you can read about why I wasn’t there:

76 Million Sociopaths Outed (HuffPo)

There are so many articles/blog posts floating around commemorating/condemning the event that I’ve OD'd. One more could do me in. This could be the one.

Advertising. I’ve written about how dumb it is to heavy-handedly invoke ‘60s stuff to reach Baby Boomers:

03 OCTOBER 2005
Invoking "The Sixties": Fidelity Financial vs. Ameriprise
Two major financial planning companies, Fidelity Investments and Ameriprise, are all agog over Baby Boomers.

There are a dozen more subsequent posts, but I’ll spare you.

Barry Robertson has a take on it all (and he’s even more fed up than yours truly):

https://15thnation.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/wodstock-1969-life.png50 Years of Woodshtick
For the next week or so, prepare to endure the 50th anniversary of Woodshtick – the endgame of five long decades of punditry and pontification over a messy 1969 mudfest in upstate New York that, supposedly, defines the Baby Boom generation.

Now I’m off to a walk-in clinic to see if they have any sort of antidote for Nostalgia Overdose.

17 May 2019

We’ve done that already.

I keep hearing that the internet is ruining our attention spans. I’m starting to believe it. I can easily get through a book, a TV show, a movie - but web pages bore me within nanoseconds and I’m constantly clicking. (Something tells me this isn’t good for advertising.)

Or maybe it’s the content. I’ve seen it all before. I say to myself, “We’ve done that already.”

Samuel Scott does a good job dissecting and presenting the enduring power of the tube:
Which advertising channels are best when all else is equal?
… In the three years we have been considering media effectiveness, TV outperforms Facebook and YouTube in all these areas …
Sounds right to me:
21 JULY 2017
The Interminable Death of Television
Nothing I can think of is as lively and chipper as television in its final throes.
From Entrepreneur:
It's Never Too Late: Entrepreneurship Has No Age
… A study suggests that businesses are more likely to succeed as their founders’ age increase up until about age 40 …
I wrote a book years ago. Huge chunks of it had to do with entrepreneurs:
Targets Clients and Entrepreneurs

advbbcoverParamount Market Publishing, Ithaca, N.Y.
… Chuck Nyren's egalitarian approach to advertising and the creation of campaigns is all-inclusive. A large section of the book is dedicated to helping Baby Boomer entrepreneurs get their marketing and advertising up and running.
And there are a bunch of other recent articles not worth reading so I won’t link to them, subjects covered ad nauseam through the years, like Baby Boomers in No Rush to Retire (we’ve known this for over a decade), Creativity Is Not Just For The Young (I feel like I was young when I blogged it in 2007), The Misconception Of Baby Boomers And The Age Of Technology (My Favorite Cyber-Myth).

Or maybe I’m so technically-challenged that it’s impossible for me to find anything newsworthy on the internet – and I should just retire.

17 April 2019

No News News & Fake News

I’m not linking to any more dumb articles.

Or fake news. Fake news to me can be broken up into two categories:
  1. News that’s half-fake and half-not fake. There might be some good advice in an article, but if it also has a lot of bad advice – then no link.
  2. News that’s fobbed off as new when it’s really old. In the past I’ve called this No News News.
Someone over at one of the major business magazines recently wrote about Baby Boomers, advertising/marketing, technology. He said nothing I (and others) haven’t been saying for almost twenty years. Just about every point he makes can be found in the Intro and 1st Chapter of my book © 2005-2007:
Folks Are Still Reading My 2005 Book
… 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 … 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…
Intro & 1st Chapter (PDF)
Another major business mag (this one in the U.K.) just published two articles full of admixtures of old good advice, old bad advice. Trouble is, I don’t want to be 50+ Marketing Snopes.com and have to sift through the diamonds and dreck. No links.

Instead, read Dick Stroud and Kevin Lavery.

14 March 2019

Goings On About Town

For years I’ve been championing the marketing and advertising of normal everyday products to Baby Boomers:
Boomer Backlash II
If every time someone over fifty sees a commercial targeting them and it’s always for an age-related product or service, pretty soon their eyes will glaze over, they’ll get itchy and grumpy.
The Real Issue: Marketing and advertising folks grasping the fact that Boomers will be buying billions (trillions?) of dollars worth of non-age related products for the next twenty-odd years. If you target this group for toothpaste, computers, clothes, food, nail polish, sporting equipment, toenail clippers - anything at all (almost), and you do it with respect and finesse, they will appreciate and consider your product.
And I scream about easy-to-open packaging, easy-on-older-eyes print, usability, etc.

But sometimes what I find out there is just silly. Read it and wipe:
Ranking The Best Five Toilet Papers For Seniors   

Feeling old? Down in the dumps? Want a pep talk? A little kick-in-the-pants inspiration so you can carry on?

Of course, if you feel okay about yourself you don’t need to read about how incredible you could be. Possible negative side effect: Getting depressed finding out how wonderful other people are.

Immerse yourself in or ignore the latest feel-good (or bad) site:
We are a global movement living longer and better than ever before. Join us for culture, style, travels, health sciences and things that inspire.
Of course, if you’re really old, say thirty or so, you’ll really need help. A motivational weekend might do the trick:
A New Luxury Retreat Caters to Elderly Workers in Tech (Ages 30 and Up)  
… The group would place stickers with ageist slurs all over their chests, arms and faces, and then hurl the stickers into a fire. Later, there would be healing sessions focused on intergenerational collaboration and accepting mortality.
There’s a famous quote attributed to … well, lots of people:
If You Remember the ’60s, you really weren’t there.”
There are always exceptions to rules. Brent Green has rounded up a few folks who swear they remember, and their credentials convince me they’re (probably) not lying.

I don’t remember the ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s, ‘00s, or the ‘10s (except for maybe up to an hour or so ago), so I’m no help.

15 February 2019

Reefer Madness Redux

First post:

22 June 2018
Reefer Madness
… If I listed all of marijuana’s claims – valid, maybe valid, yet-to-be-determined, complete poppycock – you’d go mad …

Since then, even before then, we’ve been using:

Image result for the guardianThe mature stoner: why are so many seniors smoking weed?
Older people are the fastest-growing group of cannabis users, as stigma fades and some seek an alternative to prescription drugs.

Women Bought Twice As Much Cannabis in 2018 As They Did The Year Before
… For all marijuana-related purchases, Baby Boomers became the fastest growing segment in 2018, increasing by 25 percent …

And we’re still a bit confused. Before and after:

Cannabis-Infused Intimacy Oils For Seniors: Medical Or Recreational?

Adding Cannabis To The Mix: Risks And Benefits For Seniors

Those two Forbes articles were written by …

Abbie Rosner
I am a freelance writer specializing in the emerging cannabis space, with a special interest in the ways that baby boomers and older adults are experiencing cannabis at the personal, institutional and policy levels. I also follow developments in the scientific investigation of medicinal cannabis.

Scroll Ms. Rosner’s bio and check out all her pieces.

Anecdotal: Along with my more-significant-than-I-am other, I finally made it into one of these new-fangled headshops. Quite a culture shock. No day-glo posters of Dylan, The Doors, or Hendrix. Some hookahs in the corner, although they looked more like test tubes. Most other items for sale were packaged in gaudy, multi-colored boxes and wrappers. Like fancy candy. Then I realized they were fancy candy.

We were hayseeds right off the bus.

Don’t ask me what we bought. A grab bag of goodies. We asked questions, I don’t think the sales person really understood what we were asking, we didn’t really understand the answers – so we ended up simply pointing at whatever caught our eyes.

At home, we tore one open. It was a gooey piece of candy (I was right), an amorphous gummy-bear. I split it with a knife, gave her half, we sucked on it – and in an hour we were stoned. 

That’s about it.

OK. It was more fun than that.

But I still don’t know what it was. THC. CBD. Great. I’m an educated consumer.

When the cannabis market finally finds its bearings, I hope someone will offer some simple explanations. The advertising should be educating us. 

It’s just good business.

For fun:

Banished by Amazon.com
I’m someone who, up until recently, lived with extreme Amazon guilt.

07 January 2019

2019: The Year of No Predictions

Last year there was a prediction. It was a pretty good one, coming true over and over again:

image02 JULY 2018
The Year Of Big Gets Bigger
NostraChuckus, famed soothsayer of the obvious, continues to amaze with his humdrum prognostications…

This year will be too crazy for predictions. (Whoops. I just made a prediction.) And I’m not even talking politics.

Troublemaker Mark Ritson has fun with end-of-year predictions:

https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/816023246659153920/GJd223zm_400x400.jpgDon’t be seduced by the pornography of change
Marketers would be far better off focusing on what definitely won’t change in 2019 and making a list of all the things they could do better than being distracted by hollow predictions…

Colleague Barry Robertson over at Boomer/neXt looks back at 2018 and offers a few predictions:

Times Square Drops The Ball Once A Year: Madison Avenue Drops It Every Day
… Among the 20/30-something advertising and brand professionals whose creativity is fenced in by Big Data and carefully crafted research that meets management’s meme of the moment, the world beyond the 18-49 demo is not only mysterious but forbidden territory…

imageI’ll make some predictions that will not come true. If they do, I’ll eat my Echo:

Hire older, board reports say
… While younger people are usually better equipped with hard skills, especially degrees and certifications, older workers have a leg up on soft skills many employers say are lacking…  (More on this topic.)

Ignoring Baby Boomers Leaves Revenue on the Table
image…Despite the enormous spending power of this generation, they are largely neglected by advertisers. Despite controlling 70% of the nation’s disposable income, only 10 percent of marketing dollars target consumers over 50… (My prediction is that this market will continue to be ignored, leaving billions on the table.)

Now we should heed the wisdom of age
by Yvonne Roberts
image… The stereotype of an elderly person is frail and weak; what is too often overlooked is the sagacity, resilience, appetite for new experiences, wisdom and strength that come from a perspective formed through decades of life unfolding and the patience that older age can bring…

I just got a great idea! This’ll be a running gag theme in my blog this year – predicting what won’t happen.