21 September 2008

Advertising/Marketing to Baby Boomers: A PowerPoint

HST After producing one for Dick Stroud and Henry Stewart Talks, Yours Truly finally found the time to slap together a presentation with narration – and toss it on the web.
I profile three campaigns/websites that offer diabetic products and services:
Liberty Medical
LifeScan OneTouch
Bayer Diabetes Care
I could’ve picked another niche industry – maybe travel planners, financial planners, health, active adult communities – but these three outfits were perfect marketing and advertising archetypes: Liberty presenting itself as down-to-earth and accessible, Bayer obviously targeting Boomers with a resonating message and very mannered, professional branding, and OneTouch positioning itself as the happy-face company.
The presentation is basic marketing/advertising to Baby Boomers. If you’ve been involved with this market for awhile don’t expect too many surprises. It runs about 45 minutes.
View The Presentation

13 September 2008

Second Life: Advertising Gone Wrong

It's fun - and often a shock - to unearth ether about yourself.  The best part is finding out that what you've been saying over and over for the last four or five years is resonating, bouncing around in nooks you never knew about.

secondlife Second Life isn't for me.  I have enough trouble harnessing my frazzled alpha persona. It gets in trouble, causes trouble, has horrifying real and virtual adventures, feeds the dog and cat at least once every day. That's enough excitement for it.   

I did try to join Second Life awhile back - but all the sample avatars (unless I need an eye test) seemed to me to be thirty or so years younger than my good ol' real self.  It was too jarring, anointing Yours Truly as a twentysomething.  It'd be sort of like me putting up this Polaroid on my blog profile:

Christopher Christopher Simpson, better known as Holman Tibbett - or Holman Tibbett, better known as Christopher Simpson, I'm not sure which - penned a piece for The Metaverse Messenger (PDF), a colorful newspaper dedicated to Second Life.  It's been revirtualized (and is easier to find and read) on Christopher's blog, Ad Nauseam:

Second Life's not-so-secret treasure
MM Marketers have been searching for the treasure rumored to exist within Second Life for many years now, and still there are precious few who have peered within and, when asked if they can see anything, respond by saying, “Yes, wonderful things.” ... Second Life, by and large, isn’t a playground for the young. But you’d hardly know it from the marketing forays.

My quotes show up in a scroll or two.  Again, kind of fun for me because what I know about Second Life can fit on the head of a pixel.

09 September 2008

But there are a lot of lonely people out there.

I stumbled upon a very weird blog posting. I won’t link to it because there isn’t much there. The blogger, after vetting this survey, came to the conclusion that Baby Boomers are ‘anti-social’. This is the oddest of odd interpretations.

social_networks2 Put aside all I’ve already said about social networking sites and simply concentrate on this blogger’s screwy analysis. Boomers may or may not be anti-social (many are, many aren’t) – but for argument’s sake, let’s treat them as one big homogeneous group:

Most Baby Boomers don’t do virtual social networking because they actually go out and are social. They interact with real people at gatherings, parties, etc. They talk on the phone. They email friends.

I think so-called social networking sites and the people who virtually inhabit them are the pathologically anti-social ones. You cozy up to a computer and all you’re relating to is a blinking, flashing, noise-making inanimate object. You type things, toss up pictures and sounds, press a button – and up pops this virtual representation of you. Wow. How social. If you’re lucky, friends and strangers comment by doing pretty much the same thing: typing and tossing up pictures and sounds. How very sociable of them.

head About a year ago a sales/marketing person called me from "the big one" for Baby Boomers.  She wanted to chit-chat. I said that 99% of  general interest ("I'm a Baby Boomer!") social networking sites will fail. She said something very revealing - both about the site she works for, the concept of social networking, and what the site considers to be their target market: "But there are a lot of lonely people out there."

True. Millions. Even so, my guess is that the vast majority of Boomers aren't lonely or confused or need motivation. And even if I'm wrong, all these sites will wear thin soon. If you're lonely, then there's just so much 'social networking' you can do before it begins to reinforce your sad state - and makes you feel worse.

My take on that survey: Baby Boomers may be the last truly social generation.

04 September 2008

Published: The Silver Market Phenomenon

Blogging has been pretty easy the last week or so.  All I've had to do is toss up emails ...

Dear Author,

SMPIt is with great pleasure to inform you that our book The Silver Market Phenomenon: Business Opportunities in an Era of Demographic Change has finally been published by Springer this week. You will receive your author copy from Springer soon. I am attaching the book flyer (PDF) for your reference. Please feel free to use it to spread the word and promote the book.

Professor Herstatt and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you once again for contributing to this project.


Florian Kohlbacher & Cornelius Herstatt

Read The Preface and Introduction (PDF)

On Amazon.com

02 September 2008

Our requested changes were never heeded.

Email, expurgated, names deleted to protect the innocent and the guilty, italics/bold mine:

Dear Chuck,

.... I especially  bonded with what you spoke about in your presentation. Over the past three to four years, I've worked as a proofreader at *******,  ******, and ***** (major ad agencies).

Thanks to your lecture, I now know that Shirley Polykoff (and what an inserted "y" will do to Americanize what I presume was Poliakoff!) was the Clairol (campaign) innovator ....

On the subject of Baby Boomers,  I should tell you that when I walked into *****, the HR person greeted me with, "Oh, I think you're going to be very happy here -- we have people of all ages!" Nothing made me feel self-consciously older than that! However, the creative people still looked the same as they did at ***** and *****.

... So, it was especially amusing when your graphic for ***** came up and you noted that the copy was too small to read. You should have added that for some reason, more and more people are also using this light gray typeface (in the print ad you used as an example). My proofreading colleagues and I would get myopically and intellectually frustrated and rant about our changes not being acknowledged! We'd talk about the copywriters writing ads like the one you mentioned and not realize that the target audience could not read it! We couldn't read it without blowing it up! Our requested changes were never heeded.

I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the presentation! I appreciated your clearcut, informative, amusing and candid delivery which was engrossing and compelling from start to finish. If you have more coming up, please let me know ...

R---- D-----

Our requested changes were never heeded. 

I'm ... speechless.