27 January 2009

Generation B

The New York Times’ Michael Winerip now has a column focusing on Baby Boomers:

wineripThey Warned You About Us
Since the 1960s, when many of us were teenagers, Madison Avenue along with the news media have been polling, interviewing, analyzing, poking and sniffing us, and that continues to this moment, even as nearly 10,000 boomers turn 60 every day.

I used to write general interest columns about Baby Boomers way back in 1996-2002.  In fact, you need The Way Back Machine to find any of them:

                Baby Boomers Splash Pagepeace

Mr. Winerip is geared up for getting slammed – and he will:

But somehow — mistakenly I would argue — the term has become synonymous with greedy, spoiled, divorced, remarried mega-shopper.

I’m looking forward to Michael’s Generation B pieces.  We need more intelligent commentary to counter all the nonsense you read in the press and elsewhere.  Brent Green is doing a good job.  Now he has a kindred spirit.

I took a more humorous approach way back when:

tootsie1xBaby Boomer Nutrition (1998)
People are always coming up to me and asking, "Chuck, why are Baby Boomers so wonderful?"

How rare it is to have an infinite number of correct answers to a single question! One of my standard replies: It has to do with our alimentary intake during adolescence.

The Anti-Boomer Page (1997)
Oh, to be young and flippant again instead of old and flatulent.

And "... in the way" according to Tim McMahon (aka 'azel') and his very humorous Anti-Boomer Page. Here's a kid sick of hearing about Boomers -- and I don't blame him. Why, when I was his age all I ever heard about were the Depression and WWII. What a bore.

Good luck, Michael!

25 January 2009

Internet Hero of the Week

Couldn’t pass up blogging this word-of-mouth marketing story:

ect An uproar hit the Web over the weekend when it was discovered an employee at consumer electronics company Belkin had offered to pay people to write positive reviews for his company's products, even if they hadn't tried them … "Write as if you own the product and are using it," Bayard suggested. "Thank the website for making you such a great deal. Mark any other negative reviews as 'not helpful' once you post yours."

A handful of posts about WOMM:

Advertising/Marketing Article of The Month

The Brouhaha Over WOMM

The Brouhaha Over WOMM Returns

What's Plaguing Viral Marketing

My Blog Was WOMMed!

The juiciest tidbit:

efluxmedia The employee claims that Belkin writes bad reviews for other companies’ products so these can be put at a disadvantage in the eyes of the common consumer.

Amazon.com only?  I think not.  For every duplicitous WOMM post exposed, thousands go undetected. Even a lowly blog like this one has been infected by such sleazy business tactics. Twice. Follow the links:

I have a Jitterbug and looked into the breeze when it went on the market about 2 weeks ago. The breeze does have some additional features, but it is confusing for people like me to use …

I could be the poster child for the sandwich generation and loved this commercial …

Read about the Internet Hero of the Week.

22 January 2009

Discovering What Matters

mmmi Following the fun and insightful Ecologies of Risk report, The MetLife Mature Market Institute has released a new study:

Discovering What Matters: Balancing Money, Medicine and Meaning
1. Myth: The Good Life = material wealth. When asked to select from a list of 13 activities that
contribute to living a purposeful life, respondents were most likely to select spending time with friends/family (86%) and taking care of their physical self (63%).
2. Myth: Happiness = the absence of misfortune. Over the years, most people experience one or more negative “trigger events” such as serious illness, the death of a friend/family member and/or a major financial loss … Positive events, such as the birth of a grandchild or getting a new job, can serve as trigger events.
3. Myth: The Good Life = more (more friends, more money, more health, more activity). The good life comes from balance and alignment of financial security, health and meaningful activity. This usually means “lightening one’s load” by doing away with burdens that lead to unnecessary and/or unproductive activity.

Download The Discovering What Matters Study

Also check out the Workbook so you know what MetLife is up to with their marketing fodder. You’ll have to send away for the DVD, but the workbook is available for download.

snoop2 Higher up in the site hierarchy you can view MetLife’s TV campaigns – some from around the world.

21 January 2009

Television & Toothpaste

Friends keep sending me this Los Angeles Times article to blog:

lat Television is starting to look beyond the 18- to 49-year-old demographic Marketers targeted the group hoping to build brand loyalty in young people. Some in the TV industry now view that as short-sighted …

It’s a good piece with good quotes, but I kept putting it off because this blog has blogged the subject to death.  For years. A post from 2005:

nbctv Where's the TV for us?
Network television not only is under siege from other media - but compounds the problem by ignoring Baby Boomers … Brad Adgate of Horizon Media and Alan Wurtzel, president of research for NBC Universal, do a good job exposing the silliness of television advertisers (and advertising agencies) targeting only the 19-49 demographic …

A bunch of other posts.

Last year Les Moonves and yours truly were quoted in an article by Jennifer Mann of The Kansas City Star:

Baby boomers become the forgotten consumer

Back to the LA Times piece:

moonves … Some network executives and media buyers think the notion that young people's brand loyalty must be won early is, in Moonves' words, "an old wives' tale." The idea was that "if you bought Crest toothpaste when you were 18 years old, when you turned 50 you would still use Crest toothpaste," Moonves said.

Indeed, Sternberg and others said they knew of no reliable studies backing that theory.

Believe it or not … I’ve even talked about toothpaste.

20 January 2009

This sounds familiar.

I’m skimming this sort of interesting article in The Wall Street Journal:

wsjlogo Retirement Living TV Gets Boost
Comcast Deal Will Expand Audience as More Marketers Pursue Older Crowd
The deal, expected to be announced Friday, will initially bring RLTV to Comcast subscribers in the retiree-heavy markets of Tucson, Ariz., and Albuquerque, N.M, and spread to digital cable systems in other parts of the country in subsequent months.

Then it becomes very interesting - at least to me:

Erickson Mr. Erickson says RLTV, which initially targeted people 55 and over before drifting down to the over-50 set, doesn't plan to keep moving younger. But he is flexible about the network's name, which he acknowledges could turn off people at the bottom of his age range.

Hmmm. Sounds familiar. I search around and find a post from 2006:

Tailoring media to an older crowd
rltvHowever, the word 'retirement' might scare off Baby Boomers. It smacks of 'old' and 'irrelevant.'