15 April 2006

Insatiable Appetite for Information

Baby Boomers the most Likely to Book Online after Researching Hotels and Flights
Insatiable Appetite for Information: Baby Boomers view an average of 36 pages of travel content when researching online…. Of the travel content viewed by this group, over 70% takes place on agency, hotel supplier, and airline carrier websites.
I write about this in my book - and have blogged about it before:

My Favorite Cyber-Myth
How I snicker and roll my eyes whenever I read about Baby Boomers fumbling around on computers, scratching their heads, totally flummoxed.
Also read about a few off-beat vacations Baby Boomers are taking.

11 April 2006

More In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida

A few others are weighing in on the Fidelity spot:

In-A-Gadda-Da-What? (Aging Hipsters)
Investments...stupid stoner song...what the hell dots are they trying to connect here?
Iron Butterfly's in an IRA ad? Bummer (Michael Stetz, San Diego Union-Tribune)
"In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" is in a class by itself. Hear it and a veteran of the '60s might think water bong, not 401(k) rollovers.
Intuition: Aging, the boomer way (Karen Heller, Philadelphia Inquirer)
Soon, I imagine, Metamucil will be given an Andy Warhol treatment, retirement communities will turn up the volume not simply due to hearing loss, and Zep lyrics will pop up all over the place, though not, perhaps, "Stairway to Heaven."
Maybe I do want to see this commercial.

I did see a wacky spot for M&Ms the other day that was sort of like eating them while on LSD. (Not that I admit to ever eating M&Ms.)

07 April 2006

Ameriprise vs. Fidelity Financial Redux

I guess you should first read the blog entry from October '05. That'll set the stage for this entry and links:

Invoking "The Sixties": Fidelity Financial vs. Ameriprise

The above has been the most popular (or perhaps most infamous) entry of mine over the last year. I know from my stats that Ameriprise has been all over it. It still gets tons of hits.

Recently, others have been writing about these campaigns. A very good piece by Patrick Somerville for The Simon:
Woodstock, Flower Power and Mutual Funds: How Ameriprise Panders to Boomers

The 1960s were about cultural change and political activism. But in Ameriprise's new commercials, the era's touchstones are evoked in the name of money, money, money.
While I've not seen it (and hope I never do), apparently Fidelity Financial has stooped as low as Ameriprise. Read A '60s Anthem is Sold As Bait by Mark Patinkin of The Providence Journal:
"In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" is being used to get aging hippies to invest for retirement. It's in a Fidelity commercial. Define irony. I strongly doubt that when a circle of stoned 19-year-olds were passing around a joint with Iron Butterfly on the turntable in 1969, they were weighing wealth-preservation versus growth as they considered the most prudent mix of stocks, bonds and other equity instruments … I find that a bit patronizing. That's how you talk to old people who are, like, I don't know, over 50 or something.
Sometimes I'm speechless. Often it's due to gagging. How grateful I am to others when my throat feels like it's been stuffed with a dry mop.

And Mr. Patinkin hints at one of the cautionary themes in my book:
But someone - probably a 29-year-old ad whiz kid who researched boomer music - figured it was the way to hook us.

Update, 27 April 2006: David Wolfe (Ageless Marketing) is now blogging about the Ameriprise campaigns. As always, his erudite and enlightening comments get your brain roiling:

Ameriprise Doesn't Get It

More on Ameriprise's Misreading of Boomers

06 April 2006

Baby Boomers: Web 3.0

It seems as if some big companies are catching on, coming up with good ideas for the web and Baby Boomers. Two stories recently:

Bertelsmann looking to create 'MySpace' for older set:
German media group Bertelsmann plans a return to the Internet and is looking at transforming its Direct Group of book, CD and DVD clubs into an Internet networking scene for older people.
New Company Focused On The 50+ Market
Eons, Inc., a 50+ media company inspiring a generation of boomers and seniors to live the biggest life possible, has secured $10 million in Series A financing, from General Catalyst Partners and Sequoia Capital. Jeff Taylor, founder of Monster.com, is the founder and CEO of Eons(TM), which will formally launch in July 2006.
It's hard to blog much about the above, since they're both in the planning stages. Nothing much to see yet. Eons™ is just a placeholder. But it's coming: The age revolution on the WWW.

Why don't we just call it what it is (or will be): Web 3.0

Or 4.0 or 5.0 - whatever version isn't taken. Because that's what it'll end up being.

04 April 2006


Read this piece by Abbey Klaassen before it vanishes into the ether:

TV LAND Suggests Ignoring Boomers is Billion-Dollar Mistake:

The Nielsen Media Research demos that media buyers and marketers use to bet billions of TV dollars aren’t in line with market forces, well-known demographer Ken Dychtwald told a roomful of media buyers and marketers at midtown Manhattan’s Cipriani restaurant this morning. Instead of the in demand demo of 18- to 34-year-olds, marketers should target the 40-to-60 set.

According to network executives, about 70% of its audience is within the boomer demo. “If you did an intersection of boomers, ages 40 to 60, and then 25-54, our sweet spot is the intersection of those groups,” said Karen Bressner, senior VP-ad sales for the cable network.

Kudos to Ken Dychtwald and TV LAND.

But television execs and media planners have been told this before. And I'll probably tell them again. And Jon Currie will tell them again. And again.

That's why I've started going to advertisers with my book, my consulting and speaking - ignoring the media industry, the advertising/marketing agencies. Companies with products/services want to move their offerings. When they start putting pressure on the media to create shows and on advertising agencies to create ads for the 40+ demographic, that's when the revolution will happen.

“We’ve done focus groups with this demo who say they turn on the TV and there are 500 channels and they can’t find anything to watch,” he (Dychtwald) said. “They start to feel annoyed, like media has blatantly disregarded them.”