13 February 2007


Kind of a yucky name, Grandboomers. I’ve heard worse, and shall spare you.

But as with just about everything, Baby Boomers are redefining what grandparents are supposed to be – and do. Such troublemakers…

I didn’t quite get to this subject in the 2nd Edition paperback of my book (due out in about a month), but it’s quite a phenomenon. Marketers are now targeting Baby Boomer grandparents for all sorts of things. GRAND Magazine has ads for the normal fare (vacations, pharmaceuticals) but you’ll also find ones for children's toys, books, and educational products (lots of them) — and female arousal fluids. I’ve yet to see any ads for knitting needles or support hose. The magazine is also running a Sexiest Celebrity Grandparent contest – not such an oxymoron if you check out my previous post.

A few months ago I blogged about a campaign that doesn’t target Baby Boomers but thinks it does, and linked to this article in The Houston Chronicle:
Grand-scale grandparents
"Boomers think their grandkids are too programmed, and they're looking to stir things up."
Over the weekend I stumbled on this piece in The Miami Herald:


The article is a bit shticky – but you know how newspaper folks are every so often (usually on weekends) – they get bored with the facts and try to be funny.

And what facts they are for marketers and advertisers. Take heed.

08 February 2007

Best Commercial Not On The Superbowl

Because it's from the UK.


The Dove Pro-Age campaign.

(But where are the peace signs, Baby Boomers acting like idiotic teenagers, and 60s Rock in the music bed?)

What do the models think about all this? Read about it in The Daily Mail:
The artist and alternative therapist, who lives in London, said: "Women my age are repeatedly told to fight the ageing process and so we start to believe there is age limit to certain things.

"Eventually we give into this view and begin to see, feel and look older. However, I know many women in their 50's and 60's who look amazing and I applaud their tenacity.

"We are, after all, children of the 1960's, a generation determined to achieve anything. It really is time to change the limited view presented by the media and I'm proud to be part of it."

Athena Uslander, aged 51, who owns a commercial bakery in Chicago, said: "People just see us as over the hill, but that's just not true.

"You can travel, you have disposable income and the whole world is open to you when you're older, so I think it's just the beginning of life."

Mirinete Morrison, aged 54, from London who has three daughters aged 18, 24 and 26, said: "If your heart is beautiful, your skin is beautiful, you are beautiful."

07 February 2007

Neighborhood Design, Universal Design

Bob Moos of the Dallas Morning News has been on a housing tear with his last few articles.

The first one is about Baby Boomers fashioning their own neighborhood communities:
Cohousing catching on in U.S.
Cohousing communities aren't cookie-cutter projects. Each is unique. Prospective residents are intimately involved in the planning, though they may rely on an architect and developer to handle the technical aspects of design and construction. Projects usually consist of 20 to 30 households … The latest twist to the nascent trend is cohousing exclusively for people 55 and older.
And it's a twist on what Brent Green talks about in Marketing to Leading-Edge Baby Boomers. But I'm not getting into it here. Read the book or track him down and ask him.

The second article is about universal design and aging in place:
Couple's house is home for good
Incorporating universal design in a home under construction is far less expensive than modifying it later … "Why not spend a few thousand more to build an age-friendly bath now and save yourself the $20,000 to retrofit it later?"
This is a big issue with just about everybody in the housing industry. I wrote something about it not too long ago - and spoke about universal design at last year's NAHB convention.

UD is coming. It's just too early for most Baby Boomers to consider it. However, many are missing the boat now if they happen to be designing their forever dream house. Without some serious nods to universal design, in ten years they might find themselves living in their forever nightmare house.

05 February 2007

Mary Furlong's Turning Silver Into Gold

This week Mary Furlong’s Turning Silver Into Gold: How to Profit in The New Boomer Marketplace will finally be released. I’ve been diving into my Advance Reader Copy over and over for almost a month – mostly because it’s so much fun to paddle and splash around in. This is no dry, static business tome. It churns and whirls.

Mary has put together a book that no one else could have. For over twenty years she’s been deeply immersed in academia, the internet, and the real world of business. Few can claim to be a specialist in all three. Add to this her two-decade+ focus on aging – and now on Baby Boomers. This isn’t a book anyone could just throw together with a bunch of haphazard research and a cavalier keyboard. Mary lives it.

The quick version of what TSIG is: Hundreds of companies targeting Baby Boomers are profiled. If you have any interest in Boomers and business and all the opportunities, this is what you need to read. You’ll find out what’s going on. It’s that simple.

From Kirkus Reviews:
Boomers have concerns and interests including health, investing, entertainment and travel, sexuality, entrepreneurship and technology, religion and spirituality and a vast array of philanthropic and social commitments. The title's silver may mean hair color, but the gold represents wisdom as well as wealth, "and how they will transform their financial worth into good works." … Furlong displays a genuine grasp of boomer sensibilities, especially those of decency and happiness and the common good; when she speaks of value added, it is not just the markup but how the product or service adds to the pleasure of living right and well.
Let me add to the above: Mary has this wonderful egalitarian approach to business. When she talks about companies, small biz entrepreneurs get as much ink as the multi-nationals. In her eyes, they’re equals.

Along with Turning Silver Into Gold, Mary co-sponsors The What's Next Boomer Business Summit – an annual event. This year it’s in Chicago, on March 5th and 6th. She also hosts The $10,000 Boomer Business Plan Competition and Boomer Venture Summit, usually in the early summer. I was at the first of each in 2004 (a combined event), and the Boomer Business Summit in 2006 (where I hosted a table at The Authors' Luncheon). They were all great.

Editorial reviews and more about Mary Furlong's Turning Silver Into Gold on Amazon.com.

03 February 2007

New Dove Real Beauty Spots in England

Go read Dick Stroud's post about the Dove Real Beauty television campaign in England. (This is where the campaign originated, by the way.)

I love all this mature women stuff. And I'll be blunt. And piggy. (And "Sure, Chuck. In your dreams.") As far as interesting and sexy, I'd be all over Helen Mirren or this Dove model and not all over Paris Hilton or Britney Spears or name them all. (Although Scarlett Johansson is kind of cute.)