31 January 2014


I’ve already declared this The Year of Fashion, so that’s that. Too late to drape the annum in a new cloak.

In January 2010 I declared it to be:

The Year of The Baby Boomer Brain 
… For many years, scientists thought that the human brain simply decayed over time and its dying cells led to memory slips, fuzzy logic, negative thinking, and even depression. But new research from neuroscien­tists and psychologists suggests that, in fact, the brain reorganizes, improves in important functions, and even helps us adopt a more optimistic outlook in middle age.

I had to do some searching to find the above, wasn’t sure which year was the year of the baby boomer brain. I guess my cranial hard drive needs to be cleaned and defragmented:

Older People's Brains May Be Slower, But Only Because They Know So Much, Study Says
The Huffington Post|By Emily Thomas
imageA new study from Germany has likened the memory abilities of older people to full hard drives: They don’t lose cognitive power over time; they just function slower because of an increasing amount of information.

"The human brain works slower in old age but only because we have stored more information over time," lead researcher Dr. Michael Ramscar said in a written statement…

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/shopping?q=tbn:ANd9GcSdx3ZSii4vQSTh2jXBk_lP2wHIHfgRRe4b1ejJZO63jKZKVonOuMwYRmFJStx8H9qO-PvgYQpM&usqp=CAYWhew.  I don’t need a new C:Drive.  The one I have is plenty big, a terabyte or two.  It’s just slow. 

I could use a new monitor, however.  And maybe a Google Chromecast to stick in my ear.

Of course, Ronni Bennett has something to say about it all – along with a bunch of good links:

Senior Moments: A Feature, Not a Bug

Slog through posts about brains and some other stuff:

Human Resources/Brain Power

My question is …

What happens when hard drives become obsolete and everything ends up in The Cloud?

20 January 2014

Television Repeats

Not only the shows…

Marketing gurus and Great Seers of The Mundane and The Obvious iterate ad nauseam. 

The repetition doesn’t annoy me.  What does: Many offer up their prognostications as something fresh, profound, even controversial.

Why TV Ad Spend Will Grow More Than Digital Spend In The Next Five Years
image… TV advertising and audiences are not shrinking. The average American watches more than 34 hours of TV programming every week … TV advertising works. Sight, sound and motion on 60-inch, high-definition screens deliver results every day for brands like McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Walmart, State Farm, Kellogg’s and Ford. Audiences are massive. They are passive audiences.

Sounds familiar.

15 April 2007
Positioning Magazines for Baby Boomers
There are active and passive parts of our day. Without getting into too much psychobabble … the passive side needs 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…

15 February 2009

Television Still Shines
As enamored as advertisers are with the interactive potential of digital advertising, they know that online is a complement to offline, not its replacement …

16 July 2009
Consumers find TV ads more helpful than any other type of commercial message … They find TV spots more helpful than online banner ads in deciding what products or services to purchase by an astounding margin of 37 to 1 …

18 April 2011
The Flat-Screen Rectangle of Common Sense
… Broadcast networks' overall ad volume during the upcoming upfront market will grow strongly to over $10 billion … as well as averaging double-digit percent gains…

28 March 2011
TV Advertising Most Influential: MediaPost

06 March 2012
Digital Distractions
Advertisers are getting wise to the drawbacks of marketing in the digital nest.

Even I’m getting bored sifting through these moldy posts. Just one more:

[image[10].png]01 May 2010
… That silly retronym “traditional advertising” will remain the premiere force for introducing people to a product or service, along with sustaining its shelf life. Television, print, radio, and billboard ads will continue to have the visceral power they’ve always had – if only for their sheer size, simplicity, and cutting-edge audio/visual qualities.

08 January 2014

The Year of Fashion

For some reason, everyone’s talking about clothes and accoutrements.  Maybe it’s time for people fifty and beyond to dress appropriately – meaning (probably) inappropriately, but comfortably – with a willing nod to fashion.

It’s been attempted many times before, with calamitous results:

29 August 2005
The Very Secretive Forth & Towne
If you're in the advertising/marketing industry (or in the retail clothing industry, I'm guessing) you're probably sick of hearing about Forth & Towne - a new set of thirty-odd stores opening up around the country.

28 February 2007
Bye-Bye, Forth & Towne
Gap Inc. announced plans yesterday to shutter its Forth & Towne division, which catered to women ages 35 and older … Forth & Towne was launched 18 months ago in New York and Chicago to much fanfare as a place for fashion-conscious baby boomers to shop …

There are more posts through the years about fashion and advertising, but I’ll spare you.

The new stuff in Media Land:

imageFashion: A mature market
By Andrea Felsted and Norma Cohen
Retailers are struggling to find the right formula for the demanding baby-boomer market…The problem is that few clothing retailers have successfully managed to market to the baby-boomer women – ironic, given that advertising has for decades been geared to selling the postwar generation everything from blue jeans to Pepsi.

Hmmm.  It could have something to do with this:

Advertising to Baby Boomers
Preface and 1st Chapter (PDF)

The Giant Leap
CVRCompThere had better be a minor revolution in the creative end of the advertising industry. Talented men and women in their late forties and fifties need to be brought back into the fold if you want to reach us. This includes copywriters, graphic artists, producers, directors, and creative directors.

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 … 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.

Ronni Bennett’s recent blog post tells us something’s up:

Friday, 03 January 2014
Elder Fashion Sense
…Apparently, being in public in clean, attractive clothes selected to fit well, that match or contrast pleasingly along with shoes and hat that enhance the outfit is something to be remarked upon…

imageThanks to Ronni I’ve become a fan of…

Advanced Style
Advanced Style offers proof from the wise and silver-haired set that personal style advances with age.

The promo for the documentary:

OK, it’s a stretch – but watching the first few seconds of this video reminded me of the first few seconds of a short film from forty-four years ago:

I know of more fashion-related projects slated for this year, so fashion might be on my plate throughout 2014.

Unrelated to advertising:

imageThis week a piece by yours truly is published in HuffPost Featured Fifty Fiction:

The Woman of Many Containers
by Chuck Nyren

It’s my fifteen million pixels of fame….

23 December 2013

Soon On The Shelf: 2013

Let’s begin with the last post of last year:
18 December 2012
Until next year (if it happens)…
Like The Mayans, NostraChuckus unleashes prognostications not limited to calendar years.  Often he foretells decades in advance.
Of course, that Great Seer of The Mundane and The Obvious was highly profiled in 2013.
First post of the year:
01 January 2013
Windows 8
… Redmond screwed up a bit with their new OS. Lots of folks aren’t happy with the Start Screen. You can do your own binging about the brouhaha. It has to do with the touch interface when there’s no touch. The OS works flawlessly on phones and tablets, not so well on desktops and laptops with regular ol’ monitors and screens. Third-party workarounds are available – and I use them.
News article, December 9:
Windows Start menu to return in Windows 8.2By Mark Hachman
Mark HachmanIn what could be one of the more startling reversals since New Coke, a report released Monday claims that Microsoft will bring back a Windows 7-style Start menu to what is being called Windows 8.2.
MOSES TABLETS - ImageSecond and third posts this year:
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.
Need I say more?  Watch TV, zip through magazines and newspapers.  Tablets are taking over the world.  More ‘traditional’ advertising will follow. 
Scroll to #3:
I believe that we will stop seeing media as social and start thinking about our media as being either active or passive.
Active, Passive, Smartphones, Tablets:
untitled04 November 2013
Smartphones & Tablets
Clients and just about everybody else seem to be confused about advertising on all these new-fangled gadgets. Added to the mix are odd, stupefying concepts like digital and mobile and native. Most of this stuff is gobbledygook, but I’ll try to separate the chaff from the chaff…
My favorite post this year, probably because someone else wrote it:
15 September 2013
Boomer Gnashing Teeth
imageWhat the hell’s with all the packaging and options? I just want a simple, effective toothpaste like there used to be in the (19)60’s. I don’t want flash marketing. I don’t care if it’s “Complete” or “With Scope” or “Whitening” or “Cinnamon” I just want a god damn mint toothpaste with a simple screw cap.
imageAnd check out a series of posts about AARP – with a focus on their magazine and media:
The AARP PostsThere is a slow overhaul of AARP Magazine going on, no doubt for the better ...
Happy New Year.

12 December 2013

In The News: 10th Anniversary

This is a long post all about me.

Ten years ago this Saturday I was featured in a newspaper article about baby boomers.  It was the first time I was asked about advertising and boomers.

Way back in 1996 yours truly was web-writing about this motley, energetic crew – and the press would interview me and a few others because we were the only folks tossing up info for and about us:

Aging Hipsters

… first appeared in January of 1996. Originally titled the Baby Boomer Homepage, it was conceived simply as a portal for Boomer chat.

Boomers International

Who We Are: Boomers International is a free membership community for baby boomers, seniors and their families. Since our debut in 1996, we provide boomers related information, research, trends & opinion to our visitors.

Along with you-know-who:

http://web.archive.org/web/20000728001500im_/http://www.suite101.com/suite101.GIFBaby Boomers Suite101
Peace symbol or Mercedes-Benz logo?What a Gen-X and younger world we have here in cyberspace - and it should be. It's their culture, their time. Still, plenty is available for all ages.

In 2003 I read a book by Brent Green and thought I could add to the general discussion. I’d been in advertising on and off through most of my life, so…

Advertising to Baby Boomers (Part I): Mentioning Age (2003)
When you are targeting any market, age is one of many factors. But this does not mean campaigns should mention age. Advertising aimed at Baby Boomers with themes such as 'Because you're older," or "Feel (or look) young again" can be jarring to the senses. It may leave a bad taste in many mouths. The subtext may imply a specific age range, but there is rarely a need to point it out.

More web pieces followed, and before long there they were at the top of the Yahoo/Alta Vista rankings (this was in the year 2 B.G. – Before Google).

A journalist found me:

[image%255B12%255D.png]Don't call them old
by Jean Starr
14 December 2003
… Chuck Nyren is a leading creative consultant, copywriter, and columnist, who focuses on baby boomer demography, sociology and culture.
Jean Starr"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)."

Thanks, Ms. Starr.  You started a small (very small) avalanche. A collection of fallen rocks:

Ads today often skip over baby boomers
By Julie Muhlstein (2005)
Everett Herald
image Chuck Nyren is feeling abandoned. It's not about friends or loved ones. He thinks he's being ignored by advertising.

"What's happening now, advertising agencies are pretty much run by kids in their 20s and early 30s," said Nyren, an ad industry consultant who lives in Snohomish.

Ads target empty nests, full wallets
by Bob Moos (2005)
Dallas Morning News
image "Yes, I have my favorite toothpaste. But other than that, I'm wide open for suggestions," said Chuck Nyren, 55, the author of Advertising to Baby Boomers. "Why do ad execs believe boomers don't switch brands?"

Mr. Nyren said advertising agencies often ignore or misread boomers' preferences because most of their creative people are too young to understand that generation. "The agencies better hire more boomers if they want to reach them," he said.

imageActive lives defy aging (2006)
By Bill Glauber image

"There will have to be a revolution in the advertising world," says Chuck Nyren, author of Advertising to Baby Boomers. "Baby boomers do not want to be twenty again, or thirty again," Nyren writes. "They want to feel as good as they possibly can for the ages they are. They do not want to be marketed and advertised to as if they were young adults or thirty-somethings."

A Booming Opportunity (2006) image
By Renee M. Covino
"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," says Chuck Nyren, who just happens to be another Baby Boomer and also creative strategist and consultant, as well as author of "Advertising to Baby Boomers." According to him, "bad packaging can make Baby Boomers feel incompetent; as marketers, you don't want to remind this group of people that they don't have the physical skills they had when they were younger."

Boomers: A Web-Marketing Bonanza (2006)
imageBy Olga Kharif
But many sites are still struggling with their identities and have not yet hit their stride, says boomer advertising consultant Chuck Nyron, author of Advertising for Baby Boomers  (Paramount Market Publishing, 2005) "Every site has happy, smiling faces of baby boomers and says: 'We want to inspire you'," he explains.

Above, name is misspelled.   

imageTrying to catch the wave (2006)
By Bill King
image He’s proud that an industry once monopolized by white males opened itself to women and other races and ethnicities under the watch of the boomers. But there was one way in which his generation of marketers threw up a wall.

“Our blind spot was age,” Nyren said. “We were the ones who started only marketing to ourselves. We created the demo. We taught people how to market to it. And now, we’re paying the price, because the agencies have all been brainwashed into thinking that to be worth anything [to marketers], you have to be young.”

'Elderbloggers' Shy Away From Money Talk (2008)
By Candice Novak
image "Most older people hit that Google button, and in some ways it confuses them more than it enlightens them," Seattle marketing expert and blogger Chuck Nyren, 57, says, "because there's so much crap you have to wade through to get something that is truthful or helpful."

I was talking more about this – not Google Search.

Baby boomers become the forgotten consumer (2008)
image By Jennifer Mann, McClatchy Newspapers
Nyren said he often hears from marketers that advertising isn't effective on those 50-plus consumers, that it's a waste of time and money.

No, he said, they're just not doing it correctly.

"Speaking to the 50-plus, it has to be different in terms of writing and graphics and presentation," Nyren said. "A 20-something is an easier sell - you have to work harder, work smarter to get that 50-plus customer, but the return on investment, if you do it right, can be tremendous."

Adult underwear no longer being given the silent treatment
By Bob Moos (2009)
image Chuck Nyren, a Seattle advertising consultant and author of Advertising to Baby Boomers, says the TV spots are carefully crafted to appeal to boomers who, if they don't use Depends themselves, may be caregivers for parents who do.

"Morris got the right people and took the right approach," he said. "Now, if only other advertisers would hire boomers to pitch refrigerators, soap and other products."

Businesses Fighting For Baby Boomer Dollars (2009)
imageBy Mary Motzko Aside from age issues, Nyren added that there are many different personality types included in the baby boomer generation, from former hippies to conservatives. "Evoking the '60s, it's not the smartest thing to do."

Boomers a key market for retailers, as long as it's marketed right (2013)
By Romina Maurino
The Canadian Press
"If you're over 50 and you watch television, it just keeps reinforcing the fact that you're sick. That automatically kind of turns you off to everything. They think of baby boomers as either old, smiling vapid people on a beach, or as old hippies."

Boomers buy a variety of products, just like younger people do, and pigeonholing them into certain categories isn't going to help retailers make the most out of their shopping dollars, he added.

Happy Anniversary to me.