15 February 2012

Barbara Hannah Grufferman on Anti-Aging

There’s a new voice (and beautiful face, if I may be excused for being a tad philogynous) talking lots of sense:

imageBarbara Hannah Grufferman is the author of The Best of Everything After 50: The Experts’ Guide to Style, Sex, Health, Money and More, a resource book which addresses many of the concerns of women over 50…

Ms. Grufferman is the latest in a long line of fascinating and intelligent women “of a certain age” (whatever that means).  Scrolls and scrolls, parchment or ether, would be needed to list them all.  A few off the top of my head:  Myrna Blyth, Marti Barletta, Gail Sheehy, Mary Furlong, Carol Orsborn.

I stumbled upon an excellent piece along with a short, trenchant video (produced by my friends at Growing Bolder):

imageIs The Anti-Aging Industry Bad for Our Health?
Barbara Hannah Grufferman
A new study finds that the absence of older women in magazines wreaks havoc with our self-esteem. It isn't limited to just the images on the covers: An analysis of editorial and advertising images reveals that despite proportions of older readers ranging as high as 23 percent, magazines (even those supposedly geared to women over 40) show older women infrequently, if at all. Magazines geared toward older women generally show young, thin, wrinkle-free women on their pages . . . an "ideal" that's impossible to sustain, even with the use of Botox, fillers, or plastic surgery. Now experts are saying these media messages threaten to cause eating disorders, low self-esteem, and loss of sexuality in post50 women.

Find more inspiring video, audio, and images at Growing Bolder.

Botox.  That sounds familiar.  From 2003:

imageDon't call them old
By Jean Starr
Chuck Nyren is a leading creative consultant, copywriter, and columnist, who focuses on baby boomer demography, sociology and culture.

"Not wanting to get/be/look older isn't anything new. However, baby boomers will do it a bit differently," he said. "Looking and being healthy will be more important than toupees and botox. While botox and the like are getting a lot of press, I'm guessing only a small percentage of people are using stuff like that. Being able to ride a bike, play tennis and garden will be more important than looking good and feeling (bad)."


imageTwiggy & Me
Way back in July 2009, NostraChuckus mentioned something about Twiggy’s airbrushed Olay ad in one of his lantern and shadow shows.


It won’t hurt you to watch the first minute of this:

2007 European Tour

Anti-aging?  What’s wrong with that?

The Best Anti-Aging Products, Services, and Activities: Guaranteed!

There’s also something called Graywashing.

And the advertising industry screwing up:

Boomer Backlash II
If every time someone over fifty sees a commercial targeting them and it’s always for an age-related product or service, pretty soon their eyes will glaze over, they’ll get itchy and grumpy.

But more importantly, isn't it time to rise up and demand that the media - and the advertisers that support magazines, television, and radio - change how they engage with us?”

It’s people like all the ones I’ve mentioned who for years have been challenging the myopia of media and advertising.

Keep plugging away, Ms. Grufferman. 

07 February 2012

There’s still a lot of bad advice out there.

From November 2010:

There’s a lot of bad advice out there.
Even a jaded, grizzled fellow like yours truly is often amazed at the poop on the web, along with what passes as cutting-edge thought. I’m not talking politics here – but marketing advice.  I expect silliness on political web sites…

Recently I’ve stumbled on more weird opinions and advice.  I’ll share some, but no linking because I’m too nice a guy.

An article about Super Bowl ads catering to Baby Boomers made very little sense – before or after the game.  I didn’t notice many spots targeting Boomers – but apparently they all were, what with Star Wars being a theme over and over.

But Star Wars is a franchise that continues with every generation (as does Star Trek, anything Disney, and a few other iconic whatevers).  The only spots I saw that specifically targeted Baby Boomers were MetLife’s cute piece with classic cartoon characters (except for the Peanuts crew, most probably unrecognizable to younger folks):


And the Honda CR-V/Ferris Bueller spot:

Ferris Bueller

While Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, Elton John, and a few other “Boomers” were featured in ads, the spots weren’t really targeting the 50+ demo.  I’d say they were age-neutral (which is fine, often better than fine). 

Back to that article. The writer said something else that made zero sense.  She thought Apple was prophetic, ahead of the curve, with their famous 1984 spot – because it targeted Baby Boomers. 

But …. that was 1984.  Boomers were the coveted 18-35 demographic.  Almost all companies in the 1970s and 1980s were targeting Baby Boomers.  Somebody needs a history lesson.

imageI’ll also mention that the article was agog over freeshipping.org – as if this were the new way to shop and is taking over the world of consumer marketing. Apparently, the site generated over one billion dollars in sales. 

But it’s simply an online clearing house for retailers – from Walmart to Amazon.com to Sears, K-Mart,  Land’s End, and on and on.  I’m not going to ‘do the math’ – but a billion dollars is probably one-fiftieth of one percent of sales generated by all the companies involved. 

While Freeshipping.org is a sweet niche business, it’s hardly the revolutionary paradigm for shopping as portrayed in the article.  (And for transparency, the writer of the article works for the company that owns freeshipping.org – so the piece was really a thinly-disguised advertorial.)

Back to The Super Bowl.  I think this piece does a better job reflecting reality:

imageSuper Bowl XLVI TV commercials ignored Baby Boomers
by Laurie Edwards-Tate
… If you’re over 50, you probably noticed most of the advertisers didn’t bother to talk to you. This is a big, big mistake.

And a week ago there was another editorial piece that confused me. Again, I won’t be linking.  It featured the Toyota Venza campaign from last year, and how wonderful it was for not portraying Baby Boomers as clich├ęs. 

I had a different take on the campaign: 

13 July 2011
Non-Diversity = Solipsism
The spots were targeting Baby Boomers.  Yet the themes revolved around Millennials, with Boomers portrayed as smiling, vapid – with no real personalities whatsoever. 

Not that this surprised me:

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

Beware of what you read on the web. (I’ll even allow you to be a bit suspicious of what you’re reading now.)

29 January 2012

Inflation Hits WOMM/Social Media Marketing

It was in August 2011 when WOMM reviews could be purchased for a dollar a star:

5-Star Web Reviews Go for $5
imageIn tens of millions of reviews on Web sites like Amazon.com, Citysearch, TripAdvisor and Yelp, new books are better than Tolstoy, restaurants are undiscovered gems and hotels surpass the Ritz.

Since then, due to demand, the price has doubled:

For $2 a Star, an Online Retailer Gets
5-Star Product Reviews

imageThe merchant, which seems to have no Web site and uses a mailbox drop in suburban Los Angeles … had received 4,945 reviews on Amazon for a nearly perfect 4.9 rating out of five.

It’s time for social media marketing departments and agencies to take action by locking in their Brand Ambassador and Citizen Marketer rates.  If not, the cost for phony reviews will spiral out of control. 

Collusion in the Social Media industry is the only answer – or soon Brand Ambassadors/Citizen Marketers will feel free to make even more outrageous demands.  Some predict that it won’t be long before they’ll be forming Unions. 

The Federal Trade Commission is already sticking their stinking noses in all this:

Under F.T.C. rules, when there is a connection between a merchant and someone promoting its product that affects the endorsement’s credibility, it must be fully disclosed.

That would sort of defeat the purpose, wouldn’t it?

These are likewise freedom of speech and censorship issues.  All Citizen Marketers should be allowed to write/say whatever they want when reviewing a product/service without evil government intervention (and, more importantly, as long as they are properly compensated – but no gouging, please).

I don’t know why we can’t all live and work together in a peaceful, deceitful world.

More reading:

The Social Media - WOMM - Web Advertising Posts

27 January 2012

Web Log

This I knew:

imageA blog (a portmanteau of the term web log) is a personal journal published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete entries ("posts") typically displayed in reverse chronological order so the most recent post appears first.

This I knew:

The term "weblog" was coined by Jorn Barger

This I didn’t know:

The short form, "blog," was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog Peterme.com in April or May 1999 … Shortly thereafter, Evan Williams at Pyra Labs used "blog" as both a noun and verb ("to blog," meaning "to edit one's weblog or to post to one's weblog") and devised the term "blogger"…

Why am I writing about all this arcane stuff?  Because I have nothing else to write about.  So I guess I’ll blog:

Along with some client work, just finished up a huge project (too huge) for Henry Stewart Talks.

QR Code2My blog has a QR Code!  Found it while fiddling around with the Google Blogger settings.  If you wave your smartphone QR Code reader over it, you’ll be reading ….. this. 

Topics I write/talk about all the time, the ones that fill so many folks with unbounded love for me, are advertising on the web, word-of-mouth marketing, and using social media for advertising/marketing.  So they’ll love me even more, I’ve tossed up links to most of my posts on these subjects.  If you’re a proponent of social media and all that wonderful stuff, and you feel like worshipping someone new, consider Yours Truly as an object of your affections:

The Social Media - WOMM – Web Advertising Posts


One I forgot to add to the list:

“Hello, slippers!”

17 January 2012

NostraChuckus Predicts The Future Redux

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

In 2006, he omened the re-branding of Retirement Living TV (or at least strongly suggested it):

Tailoring media to an older crowd
imageI won't comment on the shows because I haven't seen them (although this doesn't stop some media experts and pundits). I will say that I admire Mr. Erickson and his team simply because they're doing it.

However, the word 'retirement' might scare off Baby Boomers. It smacks of 'old' and 'irrelevant.'

Six years later, NostraChuckus’ predictions are again coming true (click the graphic):


The re-branding has begun.  Imagine how far ahead in the game they would be if the powers-that-be had heeded the advice of The Crystal Ball of Common Sense those many years ago!

Back to NostraChuckus’ predictions in 2006:

I hope Mr. Erickson finds some good sounding boards—along with an eclectic mix of vibrant, creative Baby Boomers to produce, write, imagedirect, and edit his network's offerings.

Hmmm.  The Crystal Ball is still a bit hazy on that one.