08 April 2010

ennu – the multimedia magazine

I saw it a few weeks ago, knew it was something exciting - but was otherwise occupied and simply bookmarked it.  Since then, colleagues Brent Green and Dick Stroud have jumped all over it:

imageArjan in't Veld, a young Dutch man, and the Future of Boomer Magazines
Sometimes it takes getting out of our own country to encounter new ways of experiencing being Boomer through media, as has this new online journal taken some very creative steps toward envisioning a 50+ magazine for the future.

This is worth 10 mins of your life
The magazine is in Dutch, not surprisingly, but you can still appreciate its excellence. Real ground breaking stuff.


What they’re talking about:



I’ve always wanted to publish an edgy, dense, contemporary magazine for Baby Boomers – eschewing the typical fodder:  grinning pod-people on beaches, empty self-help silliness, stories about how to look younger but you really won’t, medical breakthroughs that really aren’t, etc.*  Arjan has done that and more. I never envisioned the multimedia possibilities. Kudos, Mr. in't Veld.

image And I’ve never been a fan of the software used to transform print mags into online PDFs or whatever they are – with phony ‘page turning’ widgets and silly sounds.  Arjan and his crew did it right.  There is a small page-turning gizmo on the front cover so you know it’s a magazine and will be presented as such (linear, horizontal) – but after that you get beautifully designed single-page layouts specifically for the web and/or the iPad and Kindle.  Ennu would also look pristine on a flat screen TV.

Criticisms? Pure nitpicking: Maybe I’d bump up the fonts a bit, not overuse italics, and think a little about text over busy backgrounds. 

So scamper through ennu.  It’s amazing how you can enjoy something without understanding any of it. 

Then imagine if you could …

* There are a few beaches and whatnot in ennu – but I think they’re mostly advertisements.

07 April 2010

The Nothing Much New To Report Report

Good stuff, but if you’ve paid attention you’ve seen it all before.

News Flash #1

In social dealings, being older is being wiser
image … Researchers led by Richard E. Nisbett of the University of Michigan found that older people were more likely …  to recognize that values differ, to acknowledge uncertainties, to accept that things change over time and to acknowledge others' points of view.

Moldy posts of mine:

Baby boomers are smarter than you think

We have seen the future, and it is old and cool and wise.

People generally get better.

image Q: Do you find you’ve become more creative as you’ve gotten older?
Oh, yes. I’m much, much better with creative things—people generally get better. They just know more.

aarpmagQ: Your mind certainly seems to have stayed fertile.
Yes, but what’s really important is humor—the way you see through things. And I don’t mean just “Ho, ho, ho!” but real irony about the diabolical nature of things. If you don’t have that, you just collapse.

What Kind of Genius Are You?

2010: The Year of The Baby Boomer Brain

Aging Brain Less Quick, More Shrewd

News Flash #2

image Annoyed With Retail Service, Women Are Buying Their Clothes Online
by Stephen Reily
Thirteen percent buy clothes ONLY online, while 2 out of 3 do at least some of their clothes shopping there.

Crumbling, musty posts (the first from 2005):

The Very Secretive Forth & Towne
There are so many ladies I know around my age who've stopped going to malls, stopped physically shopping for clothing (they pour over catalogs and/or order online) because there isn't much out there for them.

imageForth and Towne R.I.P. Redux
There is the persistent rumor afoot that the last thing a women of a certain age wants to be is "ghettoized." 
Carol Orsborn

imageDemand for older models grows
In September, J.Crew will introduce an online section within its Web catalog that features 58-year-old Los Angeles model Pia Gronning ... The sundresses will be the same, but the styling will be more age-appropriate and sophisticated.

Chico’s and Younger Women
Spotlight blames Mr. Edmonds for the retailer's missteps, including turning off Chico's core baby boomer customers by trying to reach younger women…

image The Forgotten Market Online
All of this would be OK if it were not for the facts. 45-54 year olds spend twice as much online as their daughters. Not surprisingly the average age of an online customer at Saks.com … is 42.

News Flash #3

image Boomers: Smartphone’s Next Mass Audience
Approximately 80 million Baby Boomers, with nearly $4.6 trillion in buying power by 2015, will be the tipping point for the smartphone market.

It never had a dust jacket – but that’s OK.  Now all the copies are turning to dust.

The pull quote on the cover (Published 2005):


“It will be the Baby Boomers who will be the first to pick and choose, to ignore or be seduced by leading-edge technology marketing. There’s a simple reason for this. We have the money to buy this stuff. Experts say we’ll continue to have the money for at least the next twenty years. Write us off at your own peril.”

06 April 2010

The Obligatory iPad Post

Since everybody’s talking about it, I guess I must.  Yours Truly feels especially qualified for the task since I’ve yet to see or play with one. (I did fiddle with a Kindle, however.)

Dick Stroud has some interesting things to say about the iPad on his Mobile Apps For Baby Boomers site:

image The iPad isn't meant for software geeks it's meant for Mum and Dad
As somebody who has seen the light about apps it is plain to me that the iPad will mainly be used in relaxed mode … The iPad is the device for when I turn off the desk light, pour a beer and enter the world of semi-work. Not a total turn-off from working but those activities that are more fun to do away from the keyboard.

Used in relaxed mode…”  That reflects a lot of what I said way back in April ‘07 about the strength of magazines and why they’re not going away:

Positioning Magazines for Baby Boomers
image There are active and passive parts of our day. Without getting into too much psychobabble, as you get older the passive side needs more nourishment. It’s not really passive. It’s focused absorption. At some point you have to climb out of your frenetic digital nest and concentrate on one thing. It might be reading a book, watching a TV show or movie, listening to music, looking out the window.

Or immersing yourself in a magazine.

Maybe the iPad should position itself as more of a passive device that helps you relax, placing it far from the ‘digital nest’.  That’s how I would approach it when advertising to Baby Boomers.

Mr. Stroud might be correct. Pretty soon, the iPad could supersede paper mags and other forms of passive entertainment. You’ll be reading your Oprah on an iPad.

imageI won’t be getting one soon, however.  I’ll wait for the model that won’t shatter when you drop it and can be rolled up to swat flies.

Update 15 Jan 2013:
Now you can swat flies with your tablet:
Tablets Redux

05 April 2010

Boomer helps older adults bridge technology gap

Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 8:18 AM
To: nyrenagency@gmail.com
Subject: Hello. I've started reading your book and I'm fascinated.

Hello Mr. Nyren,
I’ve just started reading your book Advertising to Baby Boomers … and have found this market to be extremely difficult especially with a new product. I wanted to thank you for your insights and tell you that your book is helping tremendously. I never thought such a niche market would be easy, however I also didn’t realize how broad this “niche” market is. I wanted to reach out and thank you for being such a valuable source.
C. M.

If you send me a sweet email you get something in return! (Even if it’s not quite as sweet …)

image I checked out the product: a medical-alert device.  It’s a good one.  Most of the marketing is fine - maybe relying a bit too much on scare tactics.  On the web site there are videos explaining all about the product and how it works.  That’s great.

Although one piece made me wince: a twenty-something walks into a living room with the product still in its packaging.  She happily shows it to her youngish Boomer mother who’s sitting on the couch doing absolutely nothing, contentedly staring off into the ether.  The product is a present for the mother. The daughter opens up the package.  It’s obvious that the mother is helpless, completely lost.  The twenty-something has to unwrap the package, take out the device and all the documentation and accessories, and explain everything to her.

This is the type of insulting advertising scenario I see all time. Even if true in certain circumstances, you don’t want to offend potential consumers by portraying them as too dumb to figure out how to use your product.

I’ve talked about this for years.  Some blog posts:

My Favorite Cyber-Myth (2005)

Baby Boomers Burst Online (2006)
"Later, I'll show you all how to set it up."

AARP & Microsoft: Technology & Baby Boomers (2009)

I would’ve cast this marketing video a bit differently. Not that older-than-baby-boomer folks are all tech luddites, but a more realistic scenario would be a Boomer-age daughter buying the product for her eighty year old mother.  After seeing how easy it is to use and set up, the daughter might  buy one for herself. 

Baby Boomers, now in their fifties and sixties, do not think of themselves as helpless old people.  They may or may not be – but you certainly do not want to portray them in marketing campaigns as dependent, confused, or technologically ignorant.  Most are not.

You’ve also accomplished two collateral goals:

  1. The potential customer is the hero(ine) of the story.
  2. The scenario implies that it will be easy for the customer to understand, set up, and use the product.

Today I read this:

Boomer helps older adults bridge technology gap 
image As Beane was helping her father learn about his new computer, he said to her, "You really like dealing with fogeys and geezers, don't you?" This comment helped Beane realize she had found a new calling. Beane started her company at the beginning of 2010.

Ms. Beane looks to be about the same age as the mother in the medical device marketing video.

If Ms. Beane wants to purchase one of these medical devices, I sure hope she has a twenty-something daughter around to unwrap it and explain to her how the thing works.

01 April 2010

The International Mature Marketing Network

IMMN (International Mature Marketing Network) has buffed its site:

image IMMN is a non-profit consortium of marketers, advertisers, agency execs, manufacturers, publicists, media, academics and researchers focused on the 40+ consumer, a market of growing size and influence around the world.

I’m an Advisor – and in pretty good company.  A surprise is that I’m also a Thought Leader

Thought Leadership
image All of IMMN’s Board Members and Advisors are hugely active in the 40+ marketing space. Not only are there books in the making, speaking engagements to hold, business consultancies happening, television appearances being taped, and tweets being tweeted, but there are many popular and informative blogs being updated as we speak.

Your Thought Leader’s Thought For The Day: Think about joining.