14 June 2007

Advertising to Baby Boomers Now Downloadable

I receive lots of hits to this blog, along with email queries from around the world, about my book - especially from Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Even a few from Asia and the Middle East. It's usually available on their regional Amazon.com and other online bookseller sites - but at twice the price as in the States. Sometimes three times the price. Often it takes two or three weeks to get it because it's actually shipped from here.

And the 2007 paperback edition isn't available outside of the U.S. yet.

Here's how I see it: There aren't many (if any) marketing/advertising books really worth more than fifteen, twenty, thirty dollars at most. It's a crapshoot, anyway. One book might be invaluable to you, while another might be worthless. You won't know until you read them. And that same book you loved will be useless to someone else, while the one that had nothing in it for you might be priceless to another.

Because of the worldwide interest in Advertising to Baby Boomers, my publisher Paramount Books now offers it as a PDF Download. It's the same price anywhere.

If you're interested, go here. There is a pull-down menu with Shipped Version as the default. Click it and pick the Download Version. You'll receive a password and a link to the download site.

Also take a gander at Paramount's newest catalog of savvy business books (PDF).

09 June 2007

Boomer Consumer by Matt Thornhill and John Martin

Already there are three excellent books this year about Boomers, Business, and Marketing: PrimeTime Women, Turning Silver Into Gold, and now Boomer Consumer by Matt Thornhill and John Martin. Like the first two, Boomer Consumer is a breezy but overflowing-with-info read.

This won’t be a thorough review because I try not to compose blog posts that virtually unfurl into the basement. I’ll simply say that while turning the pages of Boomer Consumer I was constantly nodding in agreement. These gentleman are the Baby Boomer marketing research experts.

But I knew that already, what with following The Boomer Project for the last three years, and subscribing to Jumpin’ Jack Flash and the new Boomer Marketing News.

Research. Well, being one of those creative types who, as a rule, throws research in the trash, I always seem to glean great stuff from The Boomer Project and their insights. The reason is because (and this sounds like a back-handed compliment, but it isn’t) The Boomer Project is a down-to-earth, fairly small outfit – not a bloated, impersonal multinational. I rarely trust survey results with simpleminded black and white questions given to tens of thousands of people. The companies that do those merely crank-out, crunch, and collate - while Matt and John spend time listening to the people who will be involved in their surveys before they even fashion the questions. You’ll know what I mean when you read the book.

For review purposes (although I didn’t really review it) I was sent an advance reader copy. Boomer Consumer will be released in about a month. You can pre-order it on Amazon.com.

08 June 2007

Carol's Web

Immersion Active has tossed up Carol’s Web – a promotional flash presentation for their services.

While there’s not much new here, all the points made are valid. Of course, it’s an introduction to their philosophy of web design/navigation, so they don’t give away the store. Nothing wrong with that.

My only real criticism has to do with Carol and her cheesy, stilted, quite annoying “inner-voice over.” I doubt that anybody actually thinks like this. Perhaps in a focus group, or in a controlled situation where the participants are critiquing a web site, they might blurt out comments like ‘Hmmm. I’m certainly having a hard time making out the name of this company…’ or ‘What’s this eagle here? Click on it? For what?’ …… ???

In reality, it’s much worse. Most people over fifty simply ignore things on the web they don’t care about, can’t really see, or that don’t make much of an impression. If they find a web site exasperating, they move on. If you could peer into their minds, you probably wouldn’t find much inner dialogue going on about the web site they’re viewing. If they can’t find the info they’re looking for – bye, bye.

Add to this the fact that most Baby Boomers are internet-savvy – especially the well-heeled, successful women demo this particular exercise/example uses. They’re not deer-in-the-headlights, bumbling idiots like Carol.

For a report about web design and navigation that’s much deeper and comprehensive, contact Dick Stroud. He has a PDF he might send you: Tips For Building 50+ Web Sites. It’s my instant web design bible when I’m consulting. Gill Walker also writes and talks about web and print design. So do I. But again, we don’t give away the store.

I’m sure Immersion Active does top-notch work. Check them out.

But if you give them a call and Carol answers the phone, hang up.

06 June 2007

Book Review and Interview on LifeTwo.com

LifeTwo.com has been around for awhile. I blogged about it (it seems like) ages ago. Since then it's become one of the top stops for general news and human interest stories for and about Baby Boomers and beyond. Few sites are as deep, as eclectic.

Wesley Hein reviewed Advertising to Baby Boomers and interviewed me the other day:
Unlike most business books about advertising, Nyren's book is written for clients with products or services that they want to market to Baby Boomers.
Aside from their copious offerings, LifeTwo is one of the founders of the BloggingBoomers Carnival. It's a collection of blog posts hosted every week or so by one of the member bloggers. If you're in advertising/marketing, it'd be a good idea to check out all these blogs. They'll give you a good idea what Baby Boomers are chatting about. Here's information on the latest one.

03 June 2007

Passat's Midlife Crisis

I was tipped off to Passat’s tongue-in-cheek web site by Steve Hall’s top-notch, often troublemaking blog, Adrants (rated way up there in some recent marketing/advertising blog poll):

Mid-Life Crisis Campaign Alienates Both Young And Old

After sniffing around the Passat site, I forwarded the URL to Dick Stroud because the campaign was created in London. He jumped all over it.

Now it’s my turn ...

A bit of background: I also write fiction, plays, short stories, commentary, other stuff besides advertising. Most ad creatives do. And when I do, I write whatever I want. No self-censoring. If I make fun of myself, of getting older, of just about anything, the point is to be honest and entertaining and whatever you want to call it. And that’s it.

But when involved in selling products and services, of course I censor myself. Common sense tells you it’s a bad idea to alienate or make (too much) fun of your target market.

Here’s a ‘creative’ piece I recently sent to Ronni Bennett’s Elder Storytelling Place. You may think it’s funny, stupid, great, middling – think anything you want.

My point: I would never use this type of scenario to sell products or services to Baby Boomers – or any demographic. If you’re feeling the urge to viciously and relentlessly mock a group of people, it might be a good idea to make sure it’s not the group of people you’re targeting.

If you can’t control yourself (like I can’t sometimes), here’s a better idea: write something, make a video, put up a web site that is funny and vicious and relentless but isn’t advertising anything. Feel free to make fun of me. If it’s good, if it’s creative, I’ll probably laugh.

Steve Hall makes an excellent point about the Passat site also alienating younger demos:
This approach wields a questionably double edged sword. It clearly positions the Passat as a car no one under 40 would be caught dead driving.
How I would have done it: Make it a retreat for people in their twenties and thirties so they won't ever have to go through a ‘mid-life crisis.’ It's a preventative retreat. The older people would be the mentors, the enlightened ones. It would be explained that they never went through any sort of mid-life crisis because they’ve been driving Passats for their whole adult lives. Maybe one or two of the teachers (or guest lecturers) have recently reformed. They would tell horror stories about their midlife crisis former lives.

You've made heroes of your target market, you haven't alienated a secondary market (under 40s) - and you've still had all sorts of tongue-in-cheek fun.

Go play around on the Passat site. Laugh or roll your eyes, or both. I did both.

But I’ll bet that from now on, no matter what your age, every time you happen upon a Passat ...

You might chuckle – but it’ll also make you a bit queasy.