08 May 2007

Wise, Naked Baby Boomers

So I'm clicking every which way over at the NYT Magazine issue ostensibly about Baby Boomers. Some okay articles but no real fresh information.

Lots of people are talking about this piece - but again (like the television station discussed) I really didn't find much new.

The wisdom piece is mildly interesting - although my take is that when you're seven years old I hope you're a bit wiser than when you were six. What the brilliant insights about this are, I'm not sure.

Sara Davidson does a good job interviewing Dr. Robert N. Butler and Lenny Guarente. And there's a video interview. That old saying, "Some people eat to live, others live to eat," is officially obsolete. Now you don't eat to live.

Nora Ephron is, as usual, a funny interviewee.

Then I click on a film titled Naked. The promo copy says, "Ten women and men discuss what sex is like when you're old enough to know better."

Does this mean that they should know better than to discuss it?

07 May 2007

Interview on Growing Bolder Radio

Here’s an interview I did a few months ago on Growing Bolder Radio.

I remember listening to Marc Middleton’s just-a-tad-over-the-top introduction as I waited on the phone - and wondering why I ever deign to talk to mere mortals ....

After that, Marc did a great job making me look (sound) pretty good. I think it's the best radio interview I’ve ever done – and the credit goes to the interviewer. Marc is top notch. He didn’t let me take over the show or get away with much of anything (like what usually happens when I’m on the radio).

And here’s an excellent Growing Bolder chat with Ronni Bennett of Time Goes By. Bill Shafer has joined the show, and he’s another crackerjack interviewer.

Play around over there. You’ll find over one hundred interviews with all sorts of fascinating folks.

01 May 2007

Rance Crain Makes Perfect Sense Yet Again

I don't know Rance Crain - although I've been reading his column for years. I do know that we have at least one mutual business friend.

Here's a post from last month about his article Boomer Boon.

This week his column is even better:
You Know Who's Boss -- Consumers
But Do You Really Know Them Well?

… But what about consumers who feel disconnected? What about blacks and Asians and Hispanics who feel most brands aren't part of their lives, at least as they are filtered through the power structure of today's advertising business?

It makes all the sense in the world for ad makers (both clients and agencies) to be well-stocked with people who understand consumers, whether young people who fathom the mysteries of cyberspace, a good mixture of people who reflect the ethnic and cultural diversity of our country, and, yes, even older people who understand the vitality and buying power of the great gorge of baby boomers overtaking our land.

Talk about the need for greater diversity in the business largely has fallen on deaf ears. Nobody likes to be told whom they should hire -- unless it can be demonstrated that hiring the right mix of people can improve the bottom line …
Both articles mirror what I've been saying for years. Nice to have a kindred spirit in Mr. Crain.

So - if you don't listen to me, listen to Rance.

May 9, 2007: A piece by Leslie Laredo in Ad Age. Looks like people are finally catching up to what I've been saying for the last four or five years. Feels good.

25 April 2007

What does ‘old’ mean?

Here's a fun piece from England by Bryan Appleyard:
What does ‘old’ mean?
The (Dove) campaign, promoted on giant billboards in big cities, is said to have added $1.2 billion to the value of the brand. But has it added anything to the value of age?

Almost certainly not …. Charles Saatchi, 63, will still race around Hoxton looking for young talent, women will still get Botoxed, and men will continue to apply Grecian 2000.
I got a kick out of Mr. Appleyard's musings, and agree with most of what he says. I could nitpick, but I'm getting too old to nitpick. Too tired to.

But not too tired to link to a post of mine from a year and a half ago:
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.
And now there's more:
Hooray for gray!
Once upon a time, women would curse their gray hair and reach for the dye to cover it up. Or they'd eventually cave in and drench themselves in that ghastly purplish-blue rinse - the one that turns the shade of the Rocky Mountains at dusk. It was like the mark of the old age beast. But with salt falling on their heads like a blizzard, baby boomers are, as usual, opting to do it their way. So long, stigma, hello gray.
Of course, I've yet to "apply Grecian 2000." That's because don't have any gray hair. All those streaks and patches of white are simply bleached by the sun.

In fact, in the dead of winter in Seattle it grows bleached. Very strange phenomenon.

23 April 2007

The Brouhaha Over WOMM Returns

This was the poster for the 2005 WOMMA conference:

You should probably read my post about WOMM from December 2006 so what follows is put in perspective.

From the LA Times and Josh Friedman:
Blogging for dollars raises questions of online ethics
Thousands of bloggers are writing sponsored posts touting such diverse topics as diamonds, digital cameras and drug clinics. The bloggers are spurred by new marketing middlemen such as PayPerPost Inc. that connect advertisers with mom-and-pop webmasters.
Regarding Baby Boomers – at this point, it’s really not much of an issue because newfangled word-of-mouth marketing techniques – good/bad, ethical/unethical – really don’t have much impact:
Boomer communications are personal in nature. Eighty-four percent of boomer recommendations are made face-to-face and 82 percent by phone, as opposed to 45 percent that are made online.
What should the PR/WOMM standard be for Baby Boomers? Like I’ve said, make it simple, direct, and (an overused phrase, I know) transparent:
So your product or service is getting some sort of positive response from users/consumers? Maybe a cult is forming. Or something. People are talking.

Take advantage of this. You'd be stupid not to. Bring in the PR professionals, the marketing people. Reference it in advertising campaigns. Support this grass roots excitement.

But trying to create buzz out of nothing? Paying shills to hand out lipstick and gum, paying bloggers for their so-called objective opinions?
There was a WOMMA conference recently. I’m not sure what this sign referred to at the conference – why it was up, if there was a session about it, if it was officially sanctioned:

(photo by Josh Hallett)

Pretty funny. I railed about this theme for their conference two years ago.

Reaching Baby Boomers (and, I bet, most other demos): Good ol’ fashioned advertising, marketing, PR. And good web sites. Sure, pay attention to these fresh WOMM techniques – but if you think any of it is new, any of it will somehow replace advertising and marketing ...

Then I have the proverbial bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell. Could you get the word out for me?