08 September 2005

Marketing and Age and Everything in 324 Words

Well, I wish they were my words - but I'm too much of a slobbering gusher. So here's Dick Stroud's simple, concise Theory of Everything (The UK version, at least). He wraps it up pretty well.

Also download Dick's two new articles in PDF:

The Charmed Generation Becomes Generation Broke

Digital Marketing for The Charmed Generation

Make sure you (at the very least) check out the second one. Dick's web site design and navigation commandments should be carved in ethereal stone.

For another Theory of Everything from New Zealand, read this article.

03 September 2005

It's okay to be gray.

As everyone knows, thanks to so many astute media pundits and marketing/advertising gurus, Baby Boomers think they're still teenagers and are horrified when they look in the mirror and see some hoary stranger in their forties or fifties. (And in a few months, many of these malicious apparitions will take the form of normal human beings in their sixties.)

Botox! Hair coloring! These are the answers to that creepy, disingenuous image staring back at them.

….. But according to an article by Jack Neff in Ad Age (subscription required), "AGING POPULATION BRUSHES OFF COLORING," the hair coloring and salon industries are in the doldrums — all thanks to Baby Boomers eschewing these phony ways of attempting to look younger:
"The graying of america is at the root of the problem for the $1 billion-plus mass-market hair-coloring business. The category has cooled from double-digit growth the past two decades to more than 4% declines the past two years..."
Here's another article by Colette Bancroft of the St. Petersburg Times. An excerpt:
Diana Lewis Jewell is the author of Going Gray, Looking Great! The Modern Woman's Guide to Unfading Glory (Fireside, 2004) and a former marketing director of Vogue.

"Look at this generation, our generation," says Jewell, who is in her 50s. "We always wanted to be ourselves."

The number of gray heads is growing, she says, because of "that boomer individualistic attitude: It's okay to be gray."

In her book she cites a poll commissioned by the AARP that shows 53 percent of boomer women and 6 percent of men in that age group color their hair.

"That means 47 percent of women and 94 percent of men don't."
Also check out the adjunct article with quotes from a bunch of old, creaky, silver-haired geezers.

29 August 2005

The Very Secretive Forth & Towne

If you're in the advertising/marketing industry (or in the retail clothing industry, I'm guessing) you're probably sick of hearing about Forth & Towne - a new set of thirty-odd stores opening up around the country.

The story behind it: parent company The Gap has decided to take on Chico's and a few other clothing retailers, offering affordable, fashion-conscious apparel for women Baby Boomers.

So you don't have to wade through the media coverage, here are the two best articles I've found about the hubbub:

Generation Gap
(Chicago Sun-Times, Cheryl V. Jackson)

Filling the Gap: (Associated Press, Anne D'Innocenzio)

From Ms. Jackson's article:
For now, Forth & Towne isn't advertising. It's just throwing open the doors Wednesday and waiting to see who pops in.
Oh ...... great idea! Just ignore the largest, richest demographic — a generation very much accustomed to being advertised to (and not particularly happy that they're off the radar nowadays) — and one that has always responded well to intelligent, informative advertising.

There are so many ladies I know around my age who've stopped going to malls, stopped physically shopping for clothing (they pour over catalogs and/or order online) because there isn't much out there for them.

But don't let them know about Forth & Towne. Just hope that they pop in.

27 August 2005

Baby Boomers Conquer Self-Employment Market

My book is selling well within the advertising and marketing industry...

But I really wrote it for non-industry folk: advertisers, anybody or any company with a product or service for Baby Boomers — and entrepreneurs.

Here's a press release about Baby Boomers as entrepreneurs:
Global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas reports the nation is on the brink of an explosion of new business start-ups.

The interesting thing is this boom, which is said will resemble the dot. com boom of the late ‘90’s, will be led by baby boomers and would-be retirees and tend to be better educated, healthier, and more tech-savvy than their 20-something predecessors.

25 August 2005

Madison Avenue Fever

This documentary doesn't have anything to do with advertising to Baby Boomers today — but if you're a Baby Boomer and/or in advertising, it should be fun:
Madison Avenue Fever is an entertaining and informative look at the birth and development of television commercials in the 50's and 60's, the period known as the “golden age of television.”

Remember the Ajax knight on horseback, the happy kid who learns he has no cavities after brushing with Crest, and so many other commercials that have become a part of American heritage and imbedded in the memories of baby boomers?
More on this "Comic Documentary About the Early Days of TV Advertising."