28 January 2011

NostraChuckus Predicts The Future of AARP

imageFamed Soothsayer and advertising gadfly NostraChuckus has been startling the world for years with his mundane prognostications:

NostraChuckus Scratches His Head

Another déjà vu …

Memed again.

NostraChuckus Scoops New York Times

NostraChuckus Conjures The Specter Of NostraChuckus

What Next From The Crystal Ball of Common Sense?

AARP has been swirling around in his magickal, vaporous orb for nigh onto half a decade. It began as a chapter in his book:

… The advertising campaign has one ad with ashen-faced Baby Boomers in body bags ("These days, doctors don't pronounce you dead. Marketers do."). Another shows Baby Boomers acting like testosteroned teenagers ("Outta the way, punks: older racers are the hot-rod kings!").Yet another has one of a middle-aged lady dead in a powder room (probably from overdoing it on the dance floor) with police chalk outlining her body. I don't know what the copy is because I haven't seen it. It's probably something like, "Give me wrinkle cream, or give me death!"
© 2005 by Paramount Market Publishing

Along with many, many posts:

Music for Grownups?

AARP & Microsoft:Technology & Baby Boomers

AARP Global Network

AARP Targets Media Planners

AARP’s 2008 Best Employers For Workers Over 50

imageGoodbye, Jukebox. Hello, Jennie Chin Hansen.

Food fights, Balloons and Dancing Gorillas

And …

imageAARP's Chicken Coop Coup? (2008)
I've picked on AARP's advertising and marketing through the years. I think they can handle it. They're big boys and girls…

So the other day I'm leafing through the new National Geographic and I see this (click here)  I get sucked in. Great story. It's something real - not a lot of aspirational vapor…

I hope they develop this ad into a high-profile campaign with more stories and history…

No surprise: Three years later, NostraChuckus’ prediction comes true….

Never underestimate the prognosticative powers of  The Crystal Ball of Common Sense.

24 January 2011

The Creative Art Of Growing Old

A new book, profiled on NPR:

image'Lastingness': The Creative Art Of Growing Old
Delbanco examines artists who either maintained or advanced their work past the age of 70 — from Claude Monet, to Giuseppe Verdi, to Georgia O'Keeffe…

'Lastingness': The Creative Art Of Growing Old

I’ve talked about this for years, as have others:

What Kind of Genius Are You? (2006)
What he (David Galenson, University of Chicago) has found is that genius - whether in art or architecture or even business - is not the sole province of 17-year-old Picassos and 22-year-old Andreessens.

From the New York Times (along with a grab from my book):

NostraChuckus Scoops NYT II
imageWhen does creativity peak? The second-act aces make a case for middle to late age. Take a look at some of the people who have not simply performed well but done their best work in their later years.

Advertising creative?  Young or old?  Or both?

HR/Brain Roll
Truth is, you can analyze marketing fodder all day and night, read countless books about marketing to Baby Boomers, attend advertising and marketing conventions around the world, and soak up everything all the experts have to say. Much of what is out there is valuable and useful, some practically required reading, others instructive and illuminating. But if you plan on implementing a creative strategy, and turn it over to a different generation of advertising professionals—you'll forfeit the natural sensibilities required to generate vital campaigns.

Mix this all in with the wise words of Rosser Reeves:

"No, I don't think a 68-year-old copywriter can write with the kids. That he's as creative. That he's as fresh. But he may be a better surgeon. His ad may not be quite as fresh and glowing as the Madison Ave. fraternity would like to see it be, and yet he might write an ad that will produce five times the sales. And that's the name of the game, isn't it?"

And you get this: Hire Baby Boomer Creatives

Download the first chapter of my book.

19 January 2011

Alzheimer's: He won’t be needing them anymore.

FrazzledCatThis blog seems to be on a health kick lately. Usually the catalysts for posts are news pieces – so blame the media, not me. I’m as dilapidated and mentally frazzled as I ever was.

There was this recently:

Uh-oh. We’re in trouble…
The good news you know: many Baby Boomers will live longer, healthier lives – more so than in any previous generations. The bad news you also know: by 2046 a huge chunk Boomers will have passed on, and another huge chunk will be dealing with acute diseases and afflictions.

imageA powerful, poignant piece by Nancy Stearns Bercaw in the NYT:

When All Isn’t Enough to Foil Alzheimer’s
As my father approached middle age he began to experiment on himself, with diet supplements. By age 60 he was taking 78 tablets a day. He tracked down anything that offered the possibility of saving brain cells and killing free radicals: Omega 3s, 6s, 9s; vitamins E and C; ginkgo biloba, rosemary and sage; folic acid; flaxseed.

After retiring from his neurology practice in Naples, Fla., he spent hours a day doing math. Even when I was visiting, he’d sit silently on his leather recliner with a calculator to verify the accuracy of calculations he did by memory.

Very sad.  So be prepared.

Unfortunately, the advertising/marketing industry - along with much of the media - isn’t preparing you.  They are lying to you. From August 2010:

Alzheimer's: No Magic Bullet
It’s time to cease referencing Alzheimer’s when marketing products and services. There are plenty of valid reasons for eating healthy foods, exercising, or challenging yourself with new mind and body activities. Stop flashing the false hope of staving off a perplexing disease that frightens every Baby Boomer.

More from Nancy Stearns Bercaw:

While he watched a televised baseball game one afternoon, I walked into his den and eyed the wall of supplements he used to take — bookcase after bookcase of pills with names like Memoral and Sharp Mind. Won’t be needing them anymore.

17 January 2011

Marketers Should Be Wary of Playing Up Living Long

imageBuzz McClain, a twisted freelance writer and Editor of Selling To Seniors, called me not too long ago. We chatted for a bit, and out popped this:

Marketers Should Be Wary of Playing Up Living Long
Rarely has someone in marketing been as frank as Chuck Nyren. The international creative strategist, consultant, columnist, speaker and award-winning copywriter doesn't hesitate to take the sizzle right out of anyone's seemingly misguided marketing campaign, particularly those aimed at Boomers…

imageThe piece is behind a pay wall, so I’d cause even more trouble if I drilled a hole and sucked out more. 

What prompted Buzz to buzz me:

03 January 2011
Uh-oh. We’re in trouble…
The problem is that well-meaning articles in the press like the USA Today piece, along with mountains of 50+ marketing fodder, are setting up Boomers for a psychological fall. There will be a backlash.

Buzz McClain on Boomer Authority™.

13 January 2011

Two Experts, One Superb Article, One Superb Presentation

A couple of gents I greatly admire continue producing cutting-edge, trenchant, authoritative work.  While no surprise to me, the timing of their releases were only hours apart.  What’s a conscientious blogger to do? 

Each is worth its own post here – but we’re living in an era of austerity, so…

Dick Stroud, the Emperor of Boomer Apps, chose his 50+ marketing blog to embed an article penned for The Marketing Society:

Connecting With Older Consumers (PDF)
Apple’s success with its iPhone and iPad has been the consumer technology success story of the year. Dick Stroud explains why these products are particularly relevant to older consumers and the implications this has for marketers…

The combination of the app and the smart device creates a new platform for the consumption of media.

If marketers think that …. developments
are relevant only to the younger consumer,
they are making a serious mistake…

I’ve also written on this subject (and usually rip-off most of what I say from Professor Stroud):

Baby Boomers & Microsoft Advertising


Smart Phones, iPads, and Baby Boomers

Dr. Joseph Coughlin has tossed up his November 2nd presentation produced by Transportation@MIT and MIT World

The Future is Gray, Small & Female
imageThe talk (it's nearly an hour long, so grab a cup of coffee) provides an overview of three demographic driving forces: aging, household size, and the predominance of women in an older society…

Do yourself a favor. Give Dr. Coughlin’s presentation ten minutes and you’ll be hooked.