06 June 2011

Still Consuming

That’s no big surprise if you’ve been reading my blog for the last six years. 

The big news this week is AARP’s big new B2B campaign targeting advertisers, ad agencies, and media planners. From The New York Times:

Aging, Yes, but Still Consuming
image… AARP’s new marketing effort will promote the baby boom generation, as it ages, as a viable consumer target for advertisers. The campaign, which includes print and digital ads, will run in trade publications like Advertising Age starting Monday.

In my book ©2005 I questioned their B2B campaign way back when:

NostraChuckus Predicts The Future of AARP
image… 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 Chuck Nyren and Paramount Market Publishing

imageThis one is better, although the execution is a tad bland. And I wonder why a profile or link to a recent AARP/Ad Age white paper is nowhere to be found:

50 and Up: What's Next?
imageThe generation that defined youth marketing for Madison Avenue is readying for retirement. Here’s what they’re thinking, where they're spending their money and what marketers should know in order to reach them. Data from AARP's Baby Boomers Envision Retirement Survey, GfK MRI’s Survey of the American Consumer and Ad Age's MarketFinder.

Perhaps because the ad agency had nothing to do with it.  Or an oversight in AARP’s marketing department.  Download the AARP/Ad Age White Paper.

I wish AARP luck with their campaign.  Convincing twentysomething ad agency folk to target anybody but themselves ain’t a cakewalk.

image» Update 8 June 2011: Dick Stroud’s take on the campaign.

02 June 2011

This ‘n that, here ‘n there.

Snatches of miscellanea:

imageRetailers Prepare for Aging Baby Boomers
CVS stores offer magnifiers for customers who might have trouble reading the small print on labels.

Or you could simply bump up the typeface on CPGs.  Magnifiers look like a big hassle to me.

Can Turkey Unify the Arabs?
imageEven amid the din of the upheaval in the Arab world, that new sense of belonging represents a more pacific and perhaps more powerful undertow pulling in directions that call into question more parochial notions.

I said something like that not too long ago, sort of:

Turkey: Tiptoeing Across The Bosphorus
While not perfect, while there are political and cultural divisions in Turkey that mirror our own and other countries – the Turkish economic/political model is a valid one for Middle Eastern countries to consider. 

Matt Thornhill has a new Jumpin’ Jack Flash to groove out to.

imageBrent Green interviews Growing Bolder’s Marc Middleton and Bill Shafer on his radio show Generation Reinvention.  Fun.  Even inspirational for an old fuddy-duddy like me.

Almost 60% of Baby Boomers Plan to Buy New Home When They Retire
imageBut downsizing doesn’t have to mean moving to a continuing-care retirement community that includes several decades’ levels of care, from independent living and skilled nursing to Alzheimer’s assistance.

Not that mainstream media and advertisers care:

They watch your shows anyway.
imageAlmost immediately, the gentleman said, “There is no way I could sell this to an advertising agency.  They’re all twentysomethings – and have already told me, ‘Why target people over fifty?  They watch your shows anyway.’”

Two troublemaking pieces I wish I’d written (but I’m too much of a wussy):

imageHating Boomers: America’s Last Acceptable Prejudice
By Leonard Steinhorn

imageHow the 1960s cured America
By Charles Kaiser

And finally, this was no surprise since I’m an expert on the subject:

image@ChuckNyren: Womens Sex Toys (@womens_sextoys) is now following you on Twitter!

31 May 2011

More No News News

There’s no need to read this BNET piece if you’ve read my book or oodles of posts here over the last six years (although it’s great to see David Wolfe getting virtual ink):

imageAre you targeting the wrong audience?
Madison Avenue is still locked into “Chronic Youth Syndrome.” … Ironically, this fixation on younger audiences is a historic anachronism dating back to the time when Baby Boomers were 18 to 34.

atbbcoverlightSounds familiar. The first chapter of my book (©2005).  Or breeze through this recent article.  Or…the list goes on and on and on.

Back to the BNET piece:

Have you been targeting the right audience? If not, what do you plan to do to correct the situation?

imageI can tell you what advertisers and CMOs won’t be planning on doing to “correct the situation,” what they won’t be demanding from their ad agencies (so you might as well flush all this demographic poop down the toilet):

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.

23 May 2011

Time To Duct-Tape WOMM?

imageFor a few years, David Segal (aka The Haggler) of the NYT has been entertaining me with his tongue-in-cheek essays on seedy business practices.  Every so often he features one of my favorite subjects: Word-of-Mouth Marketing

My first post about it all:

The Brouhaha Over WOMM (2006)
imageMy prediction: When it all comes out in the wash, WOMM will be the best thing to happen to (silly retronym ahead) traditional advertising. Pretty soon, consumers won't believe anybody - even their best friends. They'll realize that they receive the most honest and straightforward information about a product or service from a TV commercial, print ad, or product web site. At least we don't lie about who we are and why we're saying what we're saying … As far as all the claptrap about WOMM replacing advertising - people who are hawking that one have a slippery grip on history.

One more (there are at least a half-dozen):

Manipulation of the Crowd (2010)
As readers of this blog know, one of my favorite activities is WOMing WOMM…

The Haggler’s latest piece:

A Rave, a Pan, or Just a Fake?
imageA recent ad posted by “Katmoney” … offered to write convincing negative reviews posted to a Yelp page of your choosing.

A related incident on my blog:

My Blog Was WOMMed! (2008)
A comment showed up in my inbox. I moderate comments before publishing.  Instinctively I knew it stank …  Someone who works at the company left the comment - and here's the most egregious part - trashed their competition … This exemplifies the darkest of the dark side of WOMM.

Another good one:

Internet Hero of the Week (2009)
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."

duct-tapedPerhaps it’s time to duct-tape word-of-mouth marketing.

18 May 2011

Youth Culture Bites Back

An fortuitous follow-up to a recent NYT piece:

 Youth Culture Bites Back


imageI was interviewed by Ms. Kennedy for her superb cover story in The Ottawa Citizen Boomer Magazine.  Also included are savvy comments by Ben Barry, Elizabeth May, Lillian Zimmerman, Tom Ford, and Matt Thornhill.

Chunks of the article remind me of the Introduction and 1st Chapter of my book (as did the NYT piece).  Janice Kennedy’s take on it all brings everything up to date.



More articles by Janice Kennedy