12 September 2021

“Where’s the beef?”

An excellent, down-to-earth interview with Dr. Ken Dychtwald from last year:

Ken  24 September 2020
Growing Bolder & Ken Dychtwald

He recently penned a piece for AARP Bulletin:

Ageism Is Alive and Well in Advertising
Consumers 50+ perceive a marketing bias against them

This is a worthy topic, as is ageism in general. Dr. Dychtwald is someone I’ve admired for years. I met him eons ago and attended one of his presentations.

I agree with most of what Ken has to say about the ad biz. I’ve been agreeing with it for about eighteen years now.  From 2003:

Back into the Fold
by Chuck Nyren
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.

coveradvbb[3]And in 2005 Yours Truly wrote a book about it: Advertising to Baby Boomers. It was selected as a classroom resource by The Advertising Educational Foundation.

I write at length about ageism in the book and on this blog. If you want more ‘history’ about it all, download the Introduction and 1st Chapter of the book (Chapter One is all about ageism):

Advertising to Baby Boomers (PDF)

However, there are instances of overzealousness in the anti-ageism movement. The AARP Bulletin article cites a 1980s Wendy’s ad campaign, declaring it “blatant ageist advertising.”  Nonsense. If anything, it celebrates the perspicacity and bluntness of old age:

The character portrayed by Clara Peller is a truth-teller. Think The Emperor’s New Clothes, Shakespeare’s Fool in King Lear. The comic foils marked for derision are the (McDonald’s/Burger King) patty and bun – certainly not the ladies.

Circling back, the article begins with comments about a Christmas spot for DocMorris. It’s a good one. Across the pond they take pride in Christmas adverts. Here’s one from France I love:

But according to the overzealous, I must be wrong. It ticks all the ageist boxes: The father (later, grandfather) is quite a dunderhead and sickeningly immature. He makes a public spectacle of himself and embarrasses his adult son. This spot is blatantly ageist.

I think not.