19 December 2010

Why does the media think Boomers are smiling, vapid idiots?

I’ve talked about this for years:

Invasion of The Baby Boomer Pod People

Invasion of the Baby Boomer Pod People Returns

Sleepy Baby Boomer Internet Villages
There are so many now that I can’t keep up with them. And they’re all the same. I get emails practically every week from people wanting me to visit and blog about their new, wonderful site just for Baby Boomers …

Advertising to Baby Boomers Can Be Tricky Business
imageAt first it was refreshing to see folks over forty-five portrayed in ads and on the web—but now almost every 50+ site is centered around generic photos of smiling, vapid, mindless people in their fifties and sixties, usually in warm-up suits, always prancing around beaches, if not staring lovingly at one another, then in groups, arms draped and tucked every which way like groping octopi.

And recently:

imageNext Avenue: Baby Boomers & PBS
Isn’t it a tad patronizing to assume that Baby Boomers need to be taught how to live and handle their lives?  Just reading that makes me itchy and queasy … Will they be resurrecting Mr. Do-Bee?

Soon we’ll have another magazine and website that will be … well, I don’t know what it will be – but if the promotional copy and graphics are any indication …

The New York Times Company Planning to Launch a New Magazine for Baby BoomersBetterLiving.com, coming Spring 2011, features articles and information about the things that are important to active boomers.

imageOf course, if you read the marketing fodder - everybody over fifty is a baby boomer. Same demo: Old. Same interests, same needs. 

Actually, there are two distinct demos – something marketers need to know:

  • Baby Boomers who scream and jump in the air on the beach
  • Baby Boomers who scream and jump in the air on their motor scooters.

Recently I have been embarrassed to be part of this generation. The reason? Madison Avenue. Madison Avenue is never wrong. They’re the neighbor across the street that sees you in the way you don’t see yourself. They’re young, they’re cocky, and what they say about the older generation becomes the truth. People still think there was a real Mr.Whipple, so I know whatever Madison Avenue says about us is what everyone’s going to believe anyway.
Albert Brooks

Maybe next year we’ll explain it all to them.

imageThanks to my wonderful publishers at Paramount Books, I am now represented by Speakers.com:






See you in 2011.

12 December 2010

2010 Review: National and International Advertising to Baby Boomers (PowerPoint)

A narrated PP wrap-up of the year, about 30 minutes, with bonus inclusions – commercials from around the world.

For the BIG SCREEN version, click here and it should open in your media player.

Or, watch the embedded version:

2010 Review

Links to topics covered in this presentation:

06 December 2010

Don’t Fear 65 (or Commercial Television)

imageSymetra Financial has a microsite: Don’t Fear 65.  It’s been around for awhile, now has a facelift.

In a couple of online videos, Fred Willard gives tongue-in-cheek advice to his grandson. Willard, as usual, is quite amusing:

I don’t know this for a fact, but it seems as if the campaign is for online consumption only.  It’s linked on a few financial/news web sites, there’s nothing wrong with that – but if the campaign is not on commercial television, hardly anyone will see it. People don’t often click on video commercials, and when they do the spots had better grab them immediately or they’ll be clicked off fast. The Willard spots start slow, take a little while to suck you in.

And … for the umpteenth, umpteenth time:

The Most Effective Marketing/Advertising Model For Reaching Baby Boomers: What is now called traditional advertising pushing you to an age-friendly, informative product/services web site.

01 December 2010

NostraChuckus Conjures The Specter Of NostraChuckus

imageAlmost every day, NostraChuckus stares into his crystal ball and sees himself – but in other guises.  These strange visages look nothing like him – yet they do.  It’s as if his crystal ball doubles as a phantasmagoric funhouse mirror.

A few spooky clones:

NostraChuckus Scratches His Head

Another déjà vu …

Memed again.

NostraChuckus Scoops New York Times

What Next From The Crystal Ball of Common Sense?

imageIt has happened again.  The CliffsNotes version of the Introduction and 1st chapter of Advertising to Baby Boomers © 2005, 2007 (wave your mouse-wand over the words below, then click)

is magically available here.

Or you can conjure up the original apparitions:

Preface & Introduction 
(The Geritol Syndrome)

imageChapter One

Professor Dumbledore has nothin’ on NostraChuckus.

29 November 2010

Tech & Baby Boomers: Universal Design vs. Universally Dull

imageThere are oodles of posts on this blog about universal design and technology, almost as many quoting and referencing Dr. Joseph Coughlin of MIT AgeLab.  I’m too lazy to list them all. A handful:

Universal Design As A Beginning, Not An End

Designing for Older Consumers

A Potential Boom from Baby Boomers: Universal Design & Aging in Place

Aging In Place, Universal Design Redux


Disruptive Demographics: Global Aging, Technology & Innovation

MIT AgeLab (2006)

Fast Company Names Joseph Coughlin to Top 100 List (2009)

imageDr. Coughlin’s recent guest editorial for Australia’s International Journal of Emerging Technologies and Society sums up what we’ve all been trying to say about being mindful of the pragmatic philosophies required when developing and marketing technology and universal design:

Understanding the Janus Face of Technology and Ageing: Implications for Older Consumers, Business Innovation and Society
imageThe convergence of technology and global ageing is driving new business opportunities, innovations in service delivery and the promise of a better life tomorrow for older adults and those who care for them. Despite its promise, technology has a Janus face introducing both new solutions as well as new problems…

imageSuccessful development and integration of technology as a tool to transform global ageing into global opportunity requires that individuals, families, business and governments, at all levels, address key trade-offs: functionality versus complexity; service versus stigma; universal design versus universally
dull; safety versus privacy; health versus dignity; availability versus equity; and lastly, high-tech versus high-touch.

Universal design versus universally dull…”  I’ve talked about that:

Baby Boomers & Universal Design
imageYou don’t want Baby Boomers wandering around a UD model home and feeling as if every room is a padded cell where you couldn’t hurt yourself even if you tried.

imageAnd remember this: an easy-to-grip handle on a utensil is not ‘dumbing down.

Read Joseph Coughlin’s Guest Editorial (PDF)