17 July 2012

Banner Ads = Happy Meal Toys…???

There’s a fellow at Forbes who says that banner advertising is now akin to Happy Meal Toys:

imageThe New Price Of A Web Ad: Free?
By Jeff Bercovici
… To be clear, Microsoft wouldn’t really be “giving away” these ads, just turning them into a value-added offering whose price would be woven into the price of the premium ads it wants to push. In effect, a cheap banner ad becomes the crummy plastic toy in the Happy Meal.

I respectfully disagree.  Happy Meal Toys are GREAT. 

I’m not suggesting that you should be taking your grandchildren to McDonald’s – but if you have any or happen to be tending kiddies for whatever reason, you know what powerful magnets Happy Meal Toys are.  For better or worse, they rank as one of the smartest and most effective advertising/marketing/promotional gimmicks in the history of civilization.

Banner Ads?  Not so much.  Almost not at all:

Click this ad. 0.051% do.
… a tiny fraction of people ever click on an ad. In fact, 99% of stable cookies examined never click on an ad … optimization of campaigns to achieve higher CTR may in fact be reducing brand ROI.

Digital Distractions
Advertisers are getting wise to the drawbacks of marketing in the digital nest.

Digital Distractions II
I wasn’t planning on doing a Digital Distractions II – but there are so many digital distractions that it’s difficult to be distracted.

From The Ad Contrarian:

Dhttp://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRt1O-32l17sfosgFFoLeTfok6LeUOd9o0U8SI4oIZg0C4gqXBzPgisplay's Dismal Dysfunction

Tongue-In-Cheek Truth: The “value-added” isn’t the toy, but the meal.

02 July 2012

Sounds familiar…

A round-up of recent Déjà vu-ish offerings:


Senior living developments upgrade offerings for baby boomers
July 01, 2012 by Lisa Kocian
…Choice is the buzzword for a wave of high-end senior communities opening or expanding in area communities…

advbb (2)From my book Advertising to Baby Boomers ©2005, 2007:

Chapter Four: Give Boomers Room for Choices
….When developing or molding a community for Baby Boomers, start with the concept of ―neutral. Do not confuse this with ―sameness. For example, when designing an indoor community space, do not assume that it will be used mostly for Bingo. Fashion it with flexibility so that it may be used for almost anything...

Product Packaging for Baby Boom Generation
By Rodica Ceslov, Published June 25, 2012
…Product packaging for the baby boom generation is a major issue for them as individuals and also for the pharma industry as a whole, as they recognize the huge market that needs to accommodate expectations.

I’ve talked about pills, but first talked about candy:

Boomers in Candyland
12 June 2006
"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."

Why Baby Boomers are the innovators of the future
By Dominic Basulto
Baby Boomers are starting companies at a faster pace than ever before …  This means we may be witnessing a passing of the innovation baton to members of the older generation.

The book, this from 2005:

ADVERTISING TO BABY BOOMERS Targets Clients and Entrepreneurs (2005)
image…A large section of the book is dedicated to helping Baby Boomer entrepreneurs get their marketing and advertising up and running.

Despite the Buzz, Social-Media Users Still Not Really Interested in Your Ads
by Rance Crain
The problem with Facebook and other social media is that they were not designed to carry advertising.

imageAll my posts on the subject:

The Social Media - WOMM - Web Advertising Posts

imageBoom-ing Business: Analysts Suggest Retailers Focus on Baby Boomers
… The Great Recession may have sent boomers for a loop, but smart retailers will realize this group is still a powerful purchasing force...

I wish you could read my Pilgrim’s Tale.  It’s all about that.

25 June 2012

From The UK: Scoring A Half Century

A fellow New Millennium Tales Pilgrim is now penning for the online magazine high50 via Campaign.  (And he’s done and does plenty of other things.)

Advertising: scoring a half century
As John Tylee writes in Campaign this week, there are more '50-just' consumers than ever, but most ad people are too young to understand them…

http://cached.imagescaler.hbpl.co.uk/resize/scaleWidth/126/?sURL=http://offlinehbpl.hbpl.co.uk/NewsAuthors/OMC/John%20Tylee.jpg… While the average age of the UK population is rising, the reverse is true of the marketing communications business. Forty-five per cent of agency staff are under 30, while fewer than six per cent are over 50. It’s a similar depressing picture among advertisers. An estimated four out of ten marketing directors are under 35 and only one in ten is over 50.
Yet the fact is, marketing communications need more wise old heads than ever before.

Sounds about right to me.  On this side of the pond I’ve been screaming about it all since 2003:

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.

Collected posts on the subject:

The Human Resources/Brain Power Posts

http://www.campaignlive.co.uk/_hbi_ui/_CMP/_images/logo.gifArticles by John Tylee:

John Tylee in Campaign

18 June 2012

A Series Of Miniatures

No overarching theme this post.  Often, life is a series of miniatures.

Boomers represent an untapped niche market
imageRetiring baby-boomers, who have travel high on their list of priorities, represent a major opportunity for hoteliers.

Catalog the above as No News News.  I’ve been screaming about this for years

Tech savvy?  What a surprise.  Marketers will probably screw it up, however.  There’s a big difference between someone using the web to fashion a vacation, and advertising on social media

NostraChuckus predicts the future again and again:

Your Home: Boomer Build
"When we're building for people 55 and older, we're finding that this particular client comes in knowing exactly what they want. They're transitioning to a new lifestyle. They're coming from a home where they may have raised a family in a bigger house in suburbia," said Frank Barbera, custom homebuilder.

Barbera's development, reserved for "active adults, 55 and better", caters to the boomer generation and allows the prospective buyers to customize virtually every aspect of their home to suit their new lifestyle.

NostraChuckus years ago:

Selling Universal Design To Baby Boomers/Aging In Place  (PDF)
imagePast generations tended to get excited about modern conveniences that would make their lives easier. They'd walk into a planned housing unit and exclaim, "Look! It's got this and this and this and this!" The more features, the better. The more 'planned,' the better. It was time to start a new life. Time to be rewarded for all the hard work, and relax.

Not so with Baby Boomers. We take most modern conveniences for granted. And we don't want to start new lives, but continue the lives we already have.

Baby Boomers will be anticipating a seamless transition. Instead of "Look! It has this and this and this," we'll be sniffing around for friendly, useful spaces. You'll want us to say, "Look! There's a perfect place for my pottery wheel," or "There are plenty of windows and sunlight. My house plants and indoor herb garden will do fine in here," or "Good. I can put up big, deep shelves for my books and CDs," or "Here's the perfect room for our side business on Ebay," or "Here's a place where I can soundproof a recording studio or entertainment center," or "This oversized back door is great because I can roll my bicycle in and out without squeezing and jerking it around - and the extra-wide hallway means there's plenty of room so I can just lean it against the wall and we won't bang into it every time we walk past it."

The Venza…

My PhotoMis-marketing to Boomers: Toyota
by Matt Thornhill

  • For the 11 months immediately preceding the campaign launch, Toyota sold 36,051 Venzas.
  • For the 11 months since the launch, Toyota has sold 31,535 Venzas, a sales decline of 12.5%
Targeting Boomers and consumers over 50 can work for you, but you have to get it right. There may be other issues with the Venza that are affecting sales volume, but this campaign isn't helping.

Yup.  My take from last July:

Non-Diversity = Solipsism
Spots that star Millennials but, at least from what you tell me, are targeting Baby Boomers.  I guess if you want to target Millennials, you should get a bunch of Baby Boomers to star in the ads, and have them talk about their kids.

You should take a look at this – Dr. Joseph Coughlin at his best (which usually is always):

Dr. Joseph Coughlin

05 June 2012

For The Elderly And Beautiful


We went to see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel the other night. Fun flick.

To get the “only okay” stuff out of the way…  

All the main characters have  life-changing epiphanies.  That’s a lot of epiphanies.  After the first few you’re so emotionally drained you don’t care anymore.  I was hoping  the last four or five wouldn’t ‘see the light’ – and slog on as miserable beings.  Oh, well.

Except for the wacky, cyclonic Sonny Kapoor (Dev Patel),  the Indian characters seemed like caricatures to me.  His personal story (girlfriend, girlfriend’s brother, domineering mother) was likewise a bundle of clichés.

I ignored the above and immersed myself in the brilliant acting and (for the most part) writing and directing. 

One of the kickoff scenes: a husband and wife visit a bland, cheesy retirement flat full of hospital-like Universal Design amenities.  The wife is horrified.  It mirrors a piece of mine from a few years ago:

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

Another subplot involves a Call CentreJudi Dench’s character teaches a bunch of young adults how to talk with (not to) potential customers. 

Thinking about hiring expensive sales trainers?  A ten-dollar movie ticket will do.  Or, wait for the DVD… 

When it’s available I’ll be illegally showing these two segments in my presentations.   If you’re in the Universal Design or Call Centre industry (and have no scruples), so should you.