28 August 2013

Tablets & The Magic of Muggles

prophetWhenever immersed in fantasy-drenched fiction you sustain the illusion that there are no illusions.  Everything is real.

But sometimes things presented as magical really aren’t:

Daily Prophet

I remember watching this and saying to myself, “Is this supposed to be magic?  We Muggles already have this. What’s the big deal?” I was thinking computers, laptops.

Soon we will have it:

07 January 2013
Moses and the pharmaceutical industry once had exclusive dibs on this word.  Nowadays, tablet commonly refers to a specific type of computer doodad technology.

14 January 2013
Tablets Redux
… Researchers have developed a revolutionary tablet screen as thin as a sheet of paper that can be twisted and dropped without damage - and it could replace your laptop within five years.


An ultra-lightweight design for imperceptible plastic electronics


Combine all this with a post from 2007:

Positioning Magazines for Baby Boomers
There are active and passive parts of our day. Without getting into too much psychobabble, as you get older the passive side needs more nourishment. It’s not really passive. It’s focused absorption. At some point you have to climb out of your frenetic digital nest and concentrate on one thing. It might be reading a book, watching a TV show or movie, listening to music, looking out the window.

Or immersing yourself in a magazine.

And one from a year ago:

The Future Of Consumer Doodad Technology
You should stop thinking about the next big thingamabob and whose will be best.  In five or ten years there will be all sorts of thingamabobs for just about everything. You’ll have two or three or ten thingamabobs.  Tablets/Smartphones will be big, small, thin, simple, complex, active, passive, out the door in your purse or pocket, lost in your couch cushions.

The web is dead for advertising/banner ads:

17 July 2012
Banner Ads = Happy Meal Toys…???
… 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.

29 April 2013
My post this week was written by The Ad Contrarian.

Stir in this nuts ‘n bolts news:

imageTablets to outship desktops this year, notebooks next year

imageShipments of Tablet PCs Expected to More Than Double
Shipments of tablet PCs are expected to reach nearly 364 million worldwide in 2014…The tablet PC market is also quickly evolving, offering more choices to a growing audience of potential buyers. Consumers can expect to see greater choice in screen sizes, as brands look to differentiate their products and exploit new market opportunities.

Oh, yeah. I said that already.

Microsoft is jumping on this, soon offering users the option of a more magazine-like experience:

Windows 8.1 Tip: Better Reading with Internet Explorer 11
Paul Thurrott
Paul Thurott…A new Reading View feature, available via a button in the right side of the address bar, can remove the clutter and present just the article in a pleasant, horizontal layout…

What all this means for advertisers:

Banner ads have been a washout, social media marketing is a cesspool, advertising on smartphones is not only teensy-weensy but competes with activity (talking/texting, apps, simple search).

Tablets could become a major vehicle for advertising.  They’ll get bigger, lighter, much thinner, flexible or semi-flexible if that’s what you’d prefer, easy to handle while sitting, lying down. Finger scrolls won’t be much different than turning pages…

And those virtual pages will have beautiful, striking, intelligent print-influenced advertising and short-form video on demand.

Larger and more crystalline than this:


People will power up desktops/laptops for work and interactive pursuits, then grab their tablets for passive pleasure.

PCs, Laptops, Smartphones: Active experiences where advertising is an annoyance.

Magazines, Newspapers, Radio, TV, Outdoor, Tablets: Passive experiences where advertising is accepted and often welcomed.

13 August 2013

Week Old No News News

I didn’t get around to blogging about some no news news when it wasn’t news a week or so ago.  Now is as late a time as any:

Top retail products being sold to Baby Boomers
http://www.retail-digital.com/whitedm/mt-static/addons/Commercial.pack/themes/professional-black/retaildigital_logo.pngBaby boomers are responsible for nearly half of all consumer-packaged goods (CPGs) purchases, according to Nielsen’s August 2012 findings. CPGs include products ranging from foods and drinks, to health and beauty products, to household and pet products.

So along with the obvious stuff, Boomers purchase just about everything else.  Sounds familiar:

14 December 2008
Baby Boomers: A Force to Reckon With
adweek Households with baby boomer members -- born between 1946 and 1964 -- account for nearly $230 billion in sales of consumer packaged-goods (CPG) products and represent 55 percent of total CPG sales…

16 September 2009
Boomer Backlash II
The Real Issue: Marketing and advertising folks grasping the fact that Boomers will be buying billions (trillions?) of dollars worth of non-age related products for the next twenty-odd years. If you target this group for toothpaste, computers, clothes, food, nail polish, sporting equipment, toenail clippers - anything at all (almost), and you do it with respect and finesse, they will appreciate and consider your product.   


Boomers Replace Their Children as No. 1 Market for Autos
The 55-to-64-year-old age group, the oldest of the boomers, has become the cohort most likely to buy a new car…

Sounds familiar:

12 March 2009
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.

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

More no news news:

image'Selfish' Baby Boomers Give Way More to Charity Than Gen X or Gen Y
… Baby boomers account for 43% of all charitable giving in the U.S., far and away the largest amount given by the four demographic measured in the study.

Sounds familiar:

Me vs. We  11 February 2008

Me vs. We Redux  26 June 2009

Me vs. We Redux Redux 22 October 2009

Or …

Consider this post prophetic, for there will be much more of the same no news news in the future.

»»» Update 15 August 2013
Looks like The Wall Street Journal has finally caught up to what I’ve been saying since 2005:

Who's Buying 'Youth' Cars? Seniors
Boomers Are Prime Buyers for Small Vehicles That Auto Makers Target at Hipsters

07 August 2013

Branding Baguettes

imageA New York Times piece for all folks in Advertising-Marketing-PR:

French Dining Staple Is Losing Its Place at the Table
The French, it seems, are falling out of love. Not with free health care, or short workweeks, or long vacations in August.

But with bread.

So the bakers’ and millers’ lobby put together a national campaign:

Coucou, tu as pris le pain?” (“Hi there, have you picked up the bread?”) is the campaign’s slogan. Modeled on the American advertising campaign “Got Milk?” the bread slogan was plastered on billboards and inscribed on bread bags...

But not everybody’s thrilled.  Some say it cheapens the product. Perhaps simply calling it a product and branding it as a product might be cheapening it:

brush“This campaign looks like the inside of a white baguette: insipid … It’s asking people to buy bread as part of their routine, like washing your hands or brushing your teeth. We need to talk about bread as an object of pleasure. We need to celebrate breads that make your taste buds dance.”

It’s a classic advertising conundrum.  Do you re-brand (whatever that means) a product with a generic campaign that simply increases awareness, or do you focus on the product’s qualities and (in this case) historical and cultural significance?

Both Mr. Levin and Mr. Kaplan, the historian, say the bread lobby’s campaign is more cuckoo than coucou.

30 July 2013

Purple Clover.

Not sure what this place is yet.  Let’s just say it’s germinating:

Purple Clover.


An Ad Age article doesn’t tell us much:

imageBermanBraun Aims New Site Aimed At Invisible Demo: Baby Boomers
Baby Boomers surf the web too, albeit perhaps while wearing bifocals and on a decade-old version of Internet Explorer.

Good start. We know we’re going nowhere with this piece.

Baby Boomers, Luddites? Not So Fast.
… As far as Boomers being tech/web Luddites - I’ve been dispelling that silly myth for years - in my book and blog (Advertising to Baby Boomers, first published in early 2005).

Technology & Baby Boomers

And there’s the brand loyalty silliness I’ve been screaming about for years. It came up in the post last week.

More stuff in the article is old hat, discussed ad nauseam by yours truly and others.

One interesting quote:

"We'll be launching a need-to-know, quick-hit video series that will be distributed not only on the property but via email and ultimately via text as well...with an eye toward ultimately Purple Clover living across all media platforms [including TV]," Mr. Berman said.

Sounds like my advice for another project:

27 September 2010
Next Avenue: Baby Boomers & PBS
…I wouldn’t get all agog over the concept of multiplatform content by making this project a truly interactive venture. Of course, have a web site (PBS usually produces good ones). Mobile apps? Fine. However, don’t be sidetracked.  Concentrate money and energy where the eyeballs are.

30 July 2012
Picking On The Big Boys & Girls, Part III: Next Avenue

The site says this on their about page:

Purple Clover is a new site for people who hate being called "baby boomers"…

…..Okay. Whatever that means. Maybe they’re still talking to themselves, trying to figure out positioning, while not quite realizing that most of us use the term Baby Boomers for news articles and B2B stuff – not when promoting products, services, media. 

From my book, © 2005:


imageAn interview with Ronni Bennett on her blog Time Goes By:

Chuck Nyren on Advertising and Elders (2007)
…Using the term “Baby Boomers” in news articles doesn’t bother me much (except that I’m getting sick of so many news stories lately). But using it in advertising (“Hey, Baby Boomers! Here’s the product for you!”) is pretty dumb. You don’t want to talk at people by defining who they are. This is insulting.

…Again, it’s dumb to call baby boomers baby boomers in ads. The press calls them baby boomers, and when talking B2B (business-to-business), we use the term baby boomers. My book is titled Advertising to Baby Boomers but it’s a business book.

Purple Clover reminds me of a site across the pond:

http://www.high50.com/wp-content/themes/high50/images/uk/logo.jpgYou’ve turned 50? Congratulations!

You’re now part of the most economically powerful, culturally significant, desired and desirable generation on earth.

Both target the high-end chunk of Boomers and older by being tongue-in-cheek, urbane, mildly irreverent.  There’s little if any talk about the negative aspects of aging. And that’s a smart move. It’s exactly what I suggested AARP Magazine might do for one issue:

02 April 2013
AARP Is All New Redux: Part III (The Magazine)
…Plan an issue with no age/malady related ads…Of course, I would leave editorial in the expert hands of Ms. Blyth and others – but might suggest this: For one issue, no articles about being old or sick…

Purple Clover’s advertising model seems stunted – until it wraps itself around a TV project.

Update 31 July:
Dick Stroud’s take on Purple Clover.

24 July 2013

Freshening Up Common Sense

I often invoke alter-ego NostraChuckus and his Crystal Ball of Common Sense when stumbling upon musty stuff revamped for the umpteenth time.  I’ll leave The Great Seer in the ether for this one, since Kim Walker has done such a sterling job updating the obvious:

Six silly excuses for not marketing to ageing consumers


Kim WalkerLet’s go through a few:


Excerpts from my book, ©2005:





A quote from a review of my book by Dr. Joyce M. Wolburg of Marquette University, published in The Journal of Consumer Marketing (2005):

A second favorite excuse of agencies is: "Baby Boomers don't change brands" (p. 52, italics in original). Nyren dismantles this excuse nicely with examples of brand switching, and he further acknowledges that in cases where loyalty to a brand does exist, marketers who do not target Boomers give them no reason to change.

Read the full review. (PDF)


14 November 2005
My Favorite Cyber-Myth
How I snicker and roll my eyes whenever I read about Baby Boomers fumbling around on computers…

23 February 2009
Snake Oil In Cyberspace
… As far as Boomers being tech/web Luddites - I’ve been dispelling that silly myth for years - in my book and blog…

Thoughts on the Kim Walker/Dick Stroud book, Marketing to the Ageing Consumer.