31 May 2012

Back To School


Unemployed Baby Boomers Are Getting Hired By Going Back To School
Lucia Mutikani, Reuters
Thousands of Americans aged 55 and older are going back to school and reinventing themselves to get an edge in a difficult labor market…

Productivity experts like Frank Lonergen say it is a mistake to overlook these so-called baby boomers, given their wealth of experience ...  While it is a reasonable expectation that somebody hired at 55 would want to retire at 65, it could also be argued that a 25-year-old would probably not build a career at a single company, he said…

A post from 2005:

Baby Boomers, Adult Communities, and Education
Campus Continuum focuses solely on developing, marketing, and operating university-branded 55+ Active Adult Communities that are tightly integrated with their academic hosts.

Personal fulfillment.  Now add new skills for employment. 

But here are slews of (probably even better) reasons to mix it up and hire older workers.  I’ve been writing about the subject for years, pointing readers to articles and studies galore.

Dive in:

The Human Resources/Brain Power Posts

14 May 2012

The Aging In Place, Universal Design, Age-Friendly Revolution

Not quite as ubiquitous as The Blob (but friendlier), the UD revolution is oozing into public places, private places. 

50+ Homeowners, urban and suburban architects and planners, product designers industrial and tech – all are finally paying attention to what many have been furthering for years.

I’ve bundled my posts on the subject (2005-2012), spiced with other goodies.  Be prepared – not all the embedded links are still alive. I guess the real Blob got them:

The Aging In Place & Universal Design Posts

Here’s a fun one I forgot to squeeze in:

12 June 2006
Boomers in Candyland
"In England, they've done a lot of studies about 'wrap rage,' and it goes much deeper than not being able to open a bottle of medicine, for instance. It's anything, any consumer goods packaging that people have trouble opening, and as Baby Boomers are starting to age, they are very sensitive to this."

Some recent articles, blog posts:

5 Tips for Boomer-Friendly Retail Design
By Jane Porter
image… Boomers naturally appreciate large, easy-to-read type on price tags and signs. If your customer has to pull out her glasses to read a tag, that doesn’t bode well…

Nearly Half of All American Homeowners Give a Green Thumbs-Up to Home Improvements
image… Gardening Homeowners are 11 percent more likely than all homeowners to read the home and garden pages of the newspaper and eight percent more likely to read the food and cooking section. They are eight percent more likely than all homeowners to watch documentaries on television, six percent more likely to watch local morning news, and eight percent more likely to watch reality talent shows. Twenty-seven percent of Gardening Homeowners listen to adult contemporary or news/talk/information radio…

What Boomers Want
Nearly all pre-retirees want to age in place in their homes, and they're relying on home-health tech to do so…

Remodeling Tips for Boomer to ‘Age in Place’
by Casey Dowd
…. To help boomers stay in their home, more companies and organizations, including the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), are offering assistance to make homes more livable and safe as they age…

Could universal design be the next mainstream movement in architecture, planning?
image… Though universal design benefits people of all ages, the aging of the population is an important driver of the field. Universal design enables residents to stay in their own homes and neighborhoods for as long as possible, and supports their continued participation in social life.

Universal design has roots in the disability rights movement, whose proponents fought for buildings and infrastructure to be more accessible…

Identity, Stigma, and the Horror of Exclusion by Design
By Scott Rains
image… Universal Design is a blueprint for inclusion that exposes unwaveringly the injustice of "exclusion by design." It demands that human difference be accounted for in real concrete acts. It requires that those traditionally excluded precisely for their difference be given voice at every stage of tool, environment, and policy creation...

Dick Stroud and Kim Walker are working on two interesting projects.  I haven’t read the book (it’s due out in a few months) or sampled the software, so I can’t really recommend them – but no doubt they’ll be valuable tools.

About the book:

Being age-friendly is simply better business. This thinking is the basis of a new book to be co-authored by Kim Walker and and Dick Stroud published by Palgrave MacMillan.

About the software:


Aging In America, 2012 (PDF) Joop Koopman

I’ll leave you with a piece from yours truly written a handful of years ago.  Most of the advice still holds up:

Selling Universal Design To Baby Boomers/Aging In Place  (PDF)

03 May 2012

67% Of All Sales…

I haven’t invoked NostraChuckus in awhile.  He’s that Great Seer of The Obvious and The Mundane

Automobile advertising, marketing, sales – to Baby Boomers.  When NostraChuckus first divined it (and went on divining it again and again):

Car Spots Driving in the Wrong Direction

Coming Boom in Boomer-Friendly Transport

Who’s gonna buy this car?
… In 2005 on The Advertising Show yours truly had a spirited discussion with hosts Brad Forsythe and Ray Schilens.  A chunky segment was about marketing autos to Boomers.

Now it’s some huge surprise:

Baby boomers drive boom in new-car sales
By Greg Gardner
imageAutomakers are turning to buyers like 64-year-old Martin Friedman for the same reason Willie Sutton robbed banks.

That's where the money is.

… Those age 50 and older are buying more than three of every five new vehicles sold, or about 62% … For the Detroit Three, boomers now account for 67% of all sales.

Here’s the best part:

The research raises the question of whether automakers' vigorous efforts to reach younger buyers through social media or targeted reality shows…

Sounds a bit like this No News News:

http://images.forbes.com/media/assets/header_baked/forbes_logo_main.gifFord Fiesta Sales Slump Despite 'Groundbreaking' Social Media Marketing Campaign

NostraChuckus predicted that over two years ago:
… And when it comes to viral videos of the Ford Fiesta – here’s the most popular one of all – uploaded and ‘remixed’ by dozens of ‘citizen marketers’ and seen by millions:

Ford Fiesta

25 April 2012

Mad Men Redux

It’s back after a long hiatus. 

My thoughts about the show a few years ago:

06 August 2008
Mad Men
… As as a rule I’m not a big soap opera fan – and Mad Men is primetime soap. My guess is that only about a fifth or sixth or less of screen time has anything to do with the wonderful world of advertising. Mostly it’s steamy bubbles.

And that's fine. Probably better. It's sumptuously produced dark froth, brilliantly performed.  At times it morphs into classic tragedy and very good theatre.  Just as often it sinks into cliché silliness.

Not much has changed.  Like I said in a comment attached to the post above, there are fans who love the sets, makeup, hairstyles, costumes – and if something isn’t from the era, or year, or even season of the year – any sort of anachronistic screw-up – they have conniptions. 

imageYet if Don Draper comes up with an advertising slogan like he did for Lucky Strike (“It’s Toasted”) that’s from the 1920s (maybe even earlier) – why, there’s no problem!  No one cares. 

Imagine if Don showed up at the office one day dressed like "Nucky" Thompson.  All hell would break loose. 

This year has already had its share of suspect scenarios.  I had a tough time believing that very young teenagers would be smoking marijuana backstage (or even in the audience) at any concert, Rolling Stones or Herman’s Hermits.  Sure, in 1968 and after that – but not much earlier.  

And I’m completely in the dark as to why SCDP trashes television advertising, with its one-man TV department. While there were specialty agencies that concentrated only on print, most were deeply involved in TV and had large departments dedicated to television and radio.  More often than not, a VP of Programming held more power than all the account execs combined. 

imageIf this oversight is ultimately a major factor in the demise of SCDP, it would all make sense. (And if Matthew Weiner steals this idea, I’m hiring Lawrence Preston and suing.)

The Truth Be Known: I watch Mad Men and get a big kick out of it. 

(And Roger Sterling tripping was hysterical.  John Slattery should play Timothy Leary in something.)


19 April 2012

Forever Young & Top Ten Secret Facts About Advertising

A couple of short videos worth your time:

Carol Orsborn takes AARP Magazine and rips it to shreds.  Actually, she doesn’t – but I didn’t direct her video or I might’ve suggested it.

Carol likes AARP and their magazine. She simply took issue with an issue – one with an ageist cover teaser and a few la-de-da comments in the  story.  Watch Don’t Defy Age. Embrace It:

Dr. Carol Orsborn

By sheer coincidence, or due to some mystical alignment of the cosmos, Carol’s video is a good companion piece to last week’s polemical take on the new Depend® campaign.  Ageism is rampant in advertising and media.

Another good video:

Barbara Hannah Grufferman on Anti-Aging

Culled from my book Advertising to Baby Boomers
© 2005:

advbbcoverContrary to popular myth, Baby Boomers do not believe that they are still teenagers or young adults. (Some probably do, but they need therapy.) Boomers are slyly redefining what it means to be the ages they are. Included in this new definition are some youthful attitudes - but the real change is that instead of winding down, many are winding up…

There is a big difference between thinking you are younger than you are, and not thinking that you are old. This “night and day” distinction
may confuse many pundits, but it does not confuse most Boomers…

The Ad Contrarian has tossed up a short video entitled Top 10 Double Secret Unknown Facts About Advertising:

The Ad Contrarian

Not only a companion piece to many of his posts (and new book), it complements a slew of mine:

The Social Media - WOMM - Web Advertising Posts