27 July 2006

Still Sexy at 60?

Kelly Greene has a top-notch piece Still Sexy at 60? in The Wall Street Journal (accessed here in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette with another headline):
A growing number of new ventures are targeting aging baby boomers, their obsessions in the final third of their lives -- and their $2 trillion in annual spending power. Start-up magazines with titles like GeezerJock, Grand and What's Next are beckoning to boomers with advice on triathlons, grandchildren or new careers.
I didn't know about What's Next Magazine. Check it out. Looks like it has potential.

But golly gee … everywhere I turn I see all this motivational boomer branding silliness. Every new web site, magazine, whatever - they all have the same mundane, insulting, pandering message…

Eons: Don't Just Live Longer. Live Bigger. After 50 life becomes yours.

What's Next Magazine: Our mission ... is to encourage our readers to live bigger. To take risks and pursue their dreams.

What piles of empty nothings. I talked about this earlier, with Eons. And there is a chapter dedicated to this nuttiness in my book.

Growing Bolder has this same sort of message, has been around for awhile, and targets Boomers and older generations. It's backed up with content, a radio show, and an eclectic mix of entertaining and informative videos.

Does everybody have to copy the aspirational message of Growing Bolder?

I feel like I'm watching old TV westerns when I go to these places. As if Baby Boomers are pretty stupid and directionless and need to be rounded up, prodded, and pushed:

Move 'em on, head 'em up,
Head 'em up, move 'em out,
Move 'em on, head 'em out, Rawhide!

Wagons ….. HO!

21 July 2006

Reach for the Silver Dollar

It's always fun and enlightening to visit trade mags from around the world.

Today, we're off to New Zealand and Grocer's Review -- with our knowledgeable and friendly tour guide, Gill Walker:
Gill Walker, Director and Founder of Evergreen Marketing and Communications, a Melbourne-based trans-Tasman consultancy, says that with a growing mature population, advertisers and marketers should take more time to focus on people over 50. She says many advertisers are missing this lucrative market by not taking into account how mature people live and shop. "There is a lot of missed opportunity," she says emphatically. "It's financial suicide."

Younger creators of advertisements also sometimes fail to take into account the importance of colour in ads. A strange but true and little-known fact, says Walker, is that as you age, your eyes yellow. "What happens is that your eyes are letting in 50% less light in your 50s than when you were in your 20s. But you don't notice it, it's subtle. But it means that there is actually a yellowing of the light." Purple/light purple/blues/light blues/green/light green are harder for mature people to read and cooler colours in ads therefore require a high level of contrast. Brighter colours or higher contrasting colours are easier to read. "You can make ads where you just subtly improve their readability for an older person without sticking a sign on it saying: 'for 50+'." Read the complete article.
Here's an idea ad agencies will think is really stupid: Hire Baby Boomer graphic artists and art directors. They'd probably design TV and print ads as well as web sites that are not only cutting-edge, creative, and persuasive - but ones that they can actually see

18 July 2006

Jeff Taylor: Eons

I blogged about Jeff Taylor and Eons a few months ago.

Here's an interview with Jeff on Peter Clayton's Total Picture Radio©. Jeff doesn't say much - but he says just enough for me to be champing at the bit until July 31st. (So I guess he said more than enough....)

And AdAge has chimed in.

I'll stick my neck out and make a prediction: Eons will be a happy-time AARP.

17 July 2006

What Kind of Genius Are You?

Daniel H. Pink of A Whole New Mind fame has a wonderful piece in Wired:
A new theory suggests that creativity comes in two distinct types - quick and dramatic, or careful and quiet … What he (David Galenson, University of Chicago) has found is that genius - whether in art or architecture or even business - is not the sole province of 17-year-old Picassos and 22-year-old Andreessens. Instead, it comes in two very different forms, embodied by two very different types of people. "Conceptual innovators," as Galenson calls them, make bold, dramatic leaps in their disciplines. They do their breakthrough work when they are young. Think Edvard Munch, Herman Melville, and Orson Welles. They make the rest of us feel like also-rans. Then there's a second character type, someone who's just as significant but trudging by comparison. Galenson calls this group "experimental innovators." Geniuses like Auguste Rodin, Mark Twain, and Alfred Hitchcock proceed by a lifetime of trial and error and thus do their important work much later in their careers. Galenson maintains that this duality - conceptualists are from Mars, experimentalists are from Venus - is the core of the creative process. And it applies to virtually every field of intellectual endeavor, from painters and poets to economists.
This is a major theme in my book Advertising to Baby Boomers. And I've found that the most popular segment of my presentations is 'a brief history of advertising' where I talk about the ages of some of the top creatives (Rosser Reeves, David Ogilvy, Leo Burnett, Bill Bernbach) and how they fashioned their most successful campaigns in their 40s, 50s, and 60s.

While sniffing around Dan Pink's web site and blog, I found this:
"Science News reports on a study that says an aging brain may be a more emotionally astute brain…"
I'll leave you with a quote from Rosser Reeves:
"No, I don't think a 68-year-old copywriter can write with the kids. That he's as creative. That he's as fresh. But he may be a better surgeon. His ad may not be quite as fresh and glowing as the Madison Ave. fraternity would like to see it be, and yet he might write an ad that will produce five times the sales. And that's the name of the game, isn't it?"

11 July 2006

50+ Marketing DVD

Evergreen Marketing (Australia, New Zealand) has produced a sterling DVD titled Marketing to the 50+ Market:
Marketing to the 50+ Market contains revealing insights into:
  • Generational Marketing
  • Myths about brand loyalty and the older consumer
  • Understanding the spending power of the 50+
  • Advertising and online channels for an older audience
I've watched the DVD twice. Gill Walker does a thorough job walking us through the basic concepts and necessities. It's a presentation that would benefit any company with products and/or services for Baby Boomers. If screened to a group, be prepared for it to ignite wise discussion.

My take is that 85-90% of what Gill says applies here in the States. Dick Stroud in England certainly thinks it's a valuable tool:
“…Gill Walker really does understand 50+ marketing. What is more she knows how to translate the marketing theory into marketing practice. I really enjoyed the DVD…” — Dick Stroud
For me, the Australian TV commercials Gill picked were a kick—the good ones and the bad ones.

Information about ordering the Marketing to the 50+ Market DVD.