11 December 2008

Shake Rattle Showtime

sr I had a spirited chat the other day with Joanne Hewitt, Marketing Director for the MPG Radio Network.  They produce Shake Rattle Showtime, a syndicated oldies-based show hosted by Jim Parsons.

Joanne has the numbers to prove that Shake Rattle Showtime spikes ratings and is true appointment listening.

A popular segment of the show – and a smart move by MPG:

“Walking Along encourages listeners to get out and get moving. Health is an area of high interest for our audience, and we're responding to that. Walking Along is introduced by a "Walking Song Of The Week" ie. Walking Along - Diamonds, I'm Walkin' - Ricky Nelson, etc.  A sponsor message follows within the segment.”

Boomers/Health. Pulling in sponsors for Walking Along shouldn’t be too difficult.

In January Shake Rattle will be in over forty markets.  My guess is that by this time next year it’ll be in over one hundred.

08 December 2008

Home Appliances & Boomers

I’ve been harping on a certain subject. I’ve harped twice

But I have to do it again.  This WSJ article is surreal:

Home Appliances to Soothe the Aches of Aging Boomers by Paul Glader

wsj At GE's consumer and industrial headquarters in Louisville, Ky., designers use "empathy sessions" to help develop new refrigerators, stoves and dishwashers. Industrial-design intern Joanie Jochamowitz, 22, wraps her knuckles with athletic tape and wears blue rubber gloves to simulate arthritis. She shoves cotton balls in her ears to simulate hearing loss, dons special glasses to simulate macular degeneration and puts dried corn kernels in her loafers to simulate aches and pains. She grabs a walker. Then she tries to peel potatoes.

eyeglasses So will advertising agencies tape, plug, bind and blind their twenty-something creatives so they’ll be able to fashion campaigns for these products?

Even better than the article are the comments:

“ … I wonder why the GE product development team seems to only be staffed by people in their 20s and 30s -- is there a shortage of designers in their 50s, who've experienced the shortcomings of various appliances for decades first-hand and don't need tape, gloves and corn kernels to simulate physical change? Foolishly, most industrial design seems to have been dominated by men and youth, giving us car doors that rip off our fingernails, seat belts that slice into our necks, and clothes dryers that require Cirque du Soleil dexterity to retrieve anything from. Why not have more women designers in their 50s and 60s working on product development teams?”

“Didn't it occur to you how stupid it was for GE and others to put these "old" suits on 25 year olds when there are real baby boomers 62 and younger as well as some very sharp 70 year old people who have not only decades of experience, a ton of degrees that actually were hard to get and are sharp as a tack who would still love to work but because of ageism can't even get a job at Taco Bell with a PhD (?)”

06 December 2008

Is technology rewiring our brains?

A piece by AP Science Writer Malcolm Ritter:

Your brain on Google: Scientists examining whether digital age rewiring young people's minds

ap When the brain spends more time on technology-related tasks and less time exposed to other people, it drifts away from fundamental social skills like reading facial expressions during conversation … So brain circuits involved in face-to-face contact can become weaker … That may lead to social awkwardness, an inability to interpret nonverbal messages, isolation and less interest in traditional classroom learning.

I’ve written about this before: Advertising Gone Wrong

But put aside any qualitative judgments about the damages or benefits of a (mostly) virtual life.  What about the creation of advertising and marketing?  If a certain age/lifestyle demo sees and hears differently, relates differently to the world, if it is in many ways a different world for them – don’t you think that it would behoove ad agencies to hire a more diverse creative workforce?  Shouldn’t clients insist on this?  

It looks like they’re having the same problems in New Zealand – and not much in the article points to the obvious solution.

04 December 2008

I’m watching an Oprah Show …

My sister emailed me:

winfrey I'm watching an Oprah Show and it's about women around the world. She brought up Dove’s international campaign and said that a "whopping 91% of woman over the age of fifty believe that advertising does a poor job of representing woman in their age group." 

I thought this would be a watershed campaign – but has anybody done it right since Pro Age?

03 December 2008

Let’s Go Holiday Shopping!

I've been hanging around the web for an eternity. At least it seems so. Since 1994.

The other day this showed up in my Google alerts:

felixgumby Step back into time: Gifts for nostalgic and sentimental baby boomers
Baby boomers tend to be a sentimental lot. And what better time to buy into this nostalgia than at Christmastime?

It reminded me of a yours truly scribbling from the internet dark ages. So I went snooping around in the stale ether – and found it, rotting away in a web dustbin:

Santa Let’s Go Holiday Shopping!
As you all know, gift-giving is a custom that tells us more about the giver than the receiver. For example, I remember getting lots of ties and World War II-related plastic models from ol' dad. Far be it from me to defy tradition, so …. Let's Go Shopping!

Then all those pics of moldy toys reminded me of my ninety seconds of fame.

I guess Christmastime is for reminiscing …