11 July 2005

Brand Autopsy: Authors as Hawkers Series

This week (July 11-15) Brand Autopsy is featuring Authors as Hawkers, giving some of us advertising/marketing/business writers a chance to chat about our books.

I'm guessing this will be a regular feature, so bookmark BA -- and certainly give it a click every day for the next few days.

Yours Truly is first up. Quite an honor. Hearty thanks to John Moore and Paul Williams for the virtual soapbox. Let's hope I don't fall off, crack my head open, and end up iced and tagged like the guy above.

"They're all about hip, cool, retro-looking things."

The headline for the AP/Business Week article by Dee-Ann Durbin reads: Analysts question Iacocca in Chrysler ads

Apparently, these analysts are worried that Lee Iacocca hawking Chryslers might turn off Gen X and younger buyers, who like 'retro-looking things.'

Yes, they do. Recently, I was in a living room with a few people. Two were very fashion-conscious teenage girls - both wearing faded bell-bottom jeans with large rips in them. I thought I was hallucinating, having some sort of flashback. Then I realized that the last time I was in a room with two teenage girls wearing ripped bell-bottoms, I probably was hallucinating - but I knew the pants were real.

I can't comment on the Chrysler ads because I've yet to see them. Bringing back Lee Iacocca doesn't sound like such a bad idea. Boomers and folks a bit older (major new-car buyers) remember him. He was quite a character, and still is.

For these spots, Chrysler is teaming him with Jason Alexander. This seems odd. While Mr. Alexander is a fine actor with good range - he's primarily known as an everyman's loudmouth. So is Iacocca.

Or maybe that's the point. Two Joe-Blow loudmouths: one old, one middle-aged.

If I were directing, I'd put them in faded ripped bell-bottoms.

08 July 2005

Selfless baby boomers switch careers

Study shows majority of boomers looking to make a difference:

Kevin Corke of NBC News has put together a short piece about Baby Boomers wanting the second acts of their lives to be more meaningful by finding jobs that are socially responsible. It was prompted by a Princeton Survey Research Associates International study.

A few of the findings:
· 78 percent wanted to help the poor and elderly.
· 56 percent wanted to work in health care.
· 55 percent wanted to work in education.
I guess I've just hung out with too many friends who've always had altruistic goals, altruistic lives, and didn't pile up the dough: teachers, social workers, government employees, artists. The 'me generation' tag I always thought was lots of B.S.

If you are interested in finding a more meaningful vocation, check out Civic Ventures.

All this, of course, has and will have an extreme impact on advertising and marketing to Baby Boomers. David Wolfe, Brent Green and others (including Yours Truly) talk about this in our books, blogs, and when we do business consulting. We all have different takes on how to advertise and market to Baby Boomers, but there is a common through-line: Baby Boomers are not a bunch of age-deluded, self-obsessed hedonists.

05 July 2005

Implications of the latest Baby Boomer milestone...

I don't know how long this good one by Bradley Johnson in AdAge.com will be 'free' - but give it a click. Maybe you'll be lucky. It's practically the introduction to my book, plus a few chapters:
The 50-plus group today makes up 39% of the U.S. adult population. But the group this year will account for half of auto sales, and that share will increase to 53% by 2010, said Art Spinella, president of consultancy CNW Marketing Research.

So maybe boomers will downsize a bit in retirement, but they still will own large homes loaded with ... stuff. For decades to come, baby boomers will remain the consummate consumers.
About time AdAge starts paying attention to Baby Boomers.

01 July 2005

Book News: Advertising to Baby Boomers selected by AEF

The Advertising Educational Foundation has selected Advertising to Baby Boomers as a Classroom Resource. Only twenty-five titles have been chosen over the last six years. They include A BIG LIFE (in advertising) by Mary Wells Lawrence (Alfred A. Knopf), How Brands Become Icons by Douglas B. Holt (Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation), and Contemporary Advertising by William F. Arens (The McGraw-Hill Companies).

View the complete list.

I would like to thank AEF for selecting my book as one of their educational resources. This is quite an honor.

The 2007 revised and updated Advertising to Baby Boomers is available directly from Paramount Books.