01 January 2011

Baby Boomers & Microsoft Advertising

My friends down the road are thinking about targeting Baby Boomers – sort of.  On their B2B advertising site, I found this blog post:

Finding Baby Boomers with Microsoft Advertising
by Kim Farmer – MSFT

In the advertising business, it’s all about getting your message in front of the right people .. Baby Boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, are one of those audiences…

A one-sheet to download.

imageNot much new in any of the above, but it’s nice to know that Boomers are on Microsoft’s radar. 

Although I’m a bit skeptical of this advice:

Some 47% of Boomers say they would click on more online ads if they were targeted to their needs.

What else would you say in a survey?  Banner ads are usually useless, targeted or not. 

What’s odd: There is no mention of the marketing possibilities on the Windows 7 Smartphone.  I guess they don’t want it to be thought of as a Fogeyfone.  Too bad:

Foretellings (May 2010)
My advertising/marketing predictions and not-technical-because-I’m-not-a-tech-guy recommendations:

  1. The visual power of the web will fade as more people use handheld devices.  Goodbye, fancy-schmancy web sites. People will get bored sifting through it all when they can find what they need with their smartphones.
  2. imageHow this will play out, I don’t know – but the ‘web’ needs to be rethought.  Accessing a page on a desktop or laptop is not the same as accessing it on a smartphone.  There will have to be two separate ‘webs’ for large screens, small screens. People will get very tired very fast clumsily negotiating bulky pages on handheld devices. Usability cannot be ignored.  Laptops and Desktops will only be utilized for deep research or visual treats. 
  3. That silly retronym “traditional advertising” will remain the premiere force for introducing people to a product or service, along with sustaining its shelf life. Television, print, radio, and billboard ads will continue to have the visceral power they’ve always had – if only for their sheer size, simplicity, and cutting-edge audio/visual qualities.  Advertising on smartphones will be considered an annoyance, invasive, and rather dinky – while marketing (coupons on steroids, and more) will flourish and dominate.

imageI also talk about this in my 2010 Review: National and International Advertising to Baby Boomers (PowerPoint Presentation)

Again, nothing new – but important:

Less than 5% of advertising dollars are currently targeted towards 35-64 year olds, more than half of the affluent US Boomer demographic is ignored entirely…

And, I bet, ignored entirely when sculpting marketing strategies on Smartphones.


Excellent 2010 wrap-up and predicted 2011 tech trends by Laurie Orlov

The Rise of Apps, iPad and Android (WSJ)

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.