19 March 2015

Folks Catching Up

It’s not a race.  If it is, I’ve been slogging around the track for 12 years.  Slogging and blogging. I didn’t think it would take this long for folks to catch up:

Marketing to Millennials and Baby Boomers
by Mark Thomas, Michigan State University Extension
Michigan State University Extension educators and the MSU Product Center assist aspiring and existing entrepreneurs to develop targeted and focused business marketing plans.

CVRCompHmm. Teaching advertising to baby boomers in colleges and universities…

01 July 2005
Book News: Advertising to Baby Boomers selected by AEF
The Advertising Educational Foundation has selected Advertising to Baby Boomers as a Classroom Resource.

Baby Boomers Are Now Twice as Likely to Start a Company as Millennials

Baby Boomers Flock to Entrepreneurship
Even though they're nearing retirement age, a large number of baby boomers are looking for an "encore" career as entrepreneurs.

From the Introduction for Advertising to Baby Boomers © 2005/2007:

Advertising to Baby Boomers is for anybody with a marketing or product idea, yet to be realized or about to come to market. Venture capitalists take heed: the largest demographic of entrepreneurs are over forty, the largest consumer demographic the same. Baby Boomers will soon be marketing to themselves again, after a hiatus of twenty-odd years.

And here:

Entrepreneurs & Baby Boomers
… I’ve found that there are two mistakes made by almost every entrepreneur targeting this unwieldy, diverse market.

Why baby boomers are poised to revive the economy
image… As people are living longer and in better health, they’re working longer, too. And opportunities for the 55 and up group are going way beyond the stereotypical part-time gig at the local supermarket, he says.

Sounds familiar…

31 May 2009
Boomers key to economic recovery
… What do you buy? Almost everything.  Clothes, appliances, computers, toothpaste.  The list is endless.  Regular, ol’ stuff.  Stuff almost exclusively marketed to twentysomethings with ad campaigns that don’t resonate with middle-aged consumers.

Older Really Can Mean Wiser
By Benedict Carey March 16, 2015
image… People who are middle-aged and older tend to know more than young adults, by virtue of having been around longer, and score higher on vocabulary tests, crossword puzzles and other measures of so-called crystallized intelligence.

At my age the memory fails, but I think I’ve heard this before…

Human Resources/Brain Power Posts

If it’s not a race, why do I keep looking over my shoulder?  I hope they catch up soon.  My neck is getting sore.

23 February 2015

Boomers & Millennials & Everyone Else & Advertising

Jim Gilmartin, a gentleman I’ve been reading with pleasure for years, has a new piece on MediaPost:

Want To Connect With Baby Boomers? Be Authentic
Jim Gilmartin Speaker Photo…It’s widely known in marketing circles that most people over 50 think marketers misrepresent them in ads. Yet, few marketers seem influenced by this or know what to do about it. However, the remedy is simple: Be authentic in representing aging…

Excellent advice. I might tweak it just a tad. From my book Advertising to Baby Boomers © 2005/2007:

CVRComp… If using models for Baby Boomers in ads, it might be a good idea to shave off a few years. Nobody needs to see all their imperfections, or well-earned crow’s feet, shouting at them from a page of a magazine or embedded in a television screen.

... It’s basic human nature to think of yourself as a bit younger than you are. This is because we have no “forward” age perspective to draw on, only “backward” age perspective. As I write this, I’m fifty-six. But I really don’t know what being fifty-six is. I do know what being in my middle forties was. I remember being in my middle forties. I have age perspective on both sides, so I can isolate that age. At the time I didn’t know what being in my middle forties was, how it felt, what it meant. I can’t really get my mind around being fifty-six because I don’t have a dual perspective. When I’m sixty, I’ll know what being “fifty-six” is.

But above all, be authentic when advertising to Baby Boomers.

… Oh, and now I read that you should likewise be authentic when advertising to Millennials:

Authenticity: The key to successfully reaching millenial customers

Hmm.  Now I’m wondering, “What generation doesn’t want authenticity?  Is there a generation that prefers disingenuous ads?”

Dick Stroud tossed up an interesting post on his blog:

Millennials look for experiences over possessions
I had to laugh when Marketing magazine had a headline "Millennials look for experiences over possessions." I thought that I had read something like that before and then remembered a blog posting back in 2008 that said something very similar only this time it was about Boomers…

The Takeaway: Boomers and Millennials love authenticity and experiences.  How this data will help you advertise your product or service, I don’t know. 

Maybe just make sure that your advertising is an authentic experience.  Or something like that. 

Not about advertising:

huffington_post_logo1Have You Ever Fainted? All about mine.
That's a lie. I don't remember anything about it. I fainted. Before and after the faint, I remember.

06 February 2015

Ameriprise Demolishes Picket Fence

I’ve been following Ameriprise’s stumbling and pandering advertising for over nine years:

Invoking "The Sixties" (2005)
Ameriprise's campaign slinks around and takes the low road — invoking 'The Sixties' for no reason other than to unctuously 'brand' their service.

Ameriprise vs. Fidelity Financial Redux  (2006)
The 1960s were about cultural change and political activism. But in Ameriprise's new commercials, the era's touchstones are evoked in the name of money, money, money.

Dennis Hopper for Ameriprise  (2007)

Advertising Has Removed Music's Soul (2009)

Ameriprise: Psychedelic Peace Signs Now White Picket Fences  (2011)
… Now it seems Aunt Polly made Tom whitewash that fence.  No more peace signs or psychedelic graffiti…

Ameriprise seems to still be interested in Baby Boomers:

Ameriprise Study: First Wave of Baby Boomers Say Health and Emotional Preparation are Keys to a Successful Start to Retirement  (2015)

But someone must've knocked down that whitewashed fence:

Ameriprise Splits with R/GA, Searches for a New Lead Shop
Signals a shift from Tommy Lee Jones campaign
By Andrew McMains

I wonder what’s next. Old hippies painting psychedelic dollar signs on a picket fence? Aunt Polly as the new spokesperson? One of those snazzy computerized commercials where they futz with old footage, maybe Tommy Lee Jones as Tom Sawyer and Dennis Hopper as Huckleberry Finn jawing about financial planning?

Oh, to be a gadfly on the wall during that creative review…

14 January 2015

I was right about Facebook. I was wrong about Facebook.

Sometimes you’re wrong for the right reasons.  Sometimes you’re right for the wrong reasons.  Sometimes you’re a bit of both.

Years ago I trashed Facebook and social networking sites:

Baby Boomers Bolting From Facebook
… Baby Boomers are decamping that most famous of digital digs …

I was wrong:

Pew: Facebook User Growth Slowed As Others Gained, But Still Has Most Engaged Users
by Sarah Perez
image… the social network remains the most popular, but its membership levels here have seen little change from where they were in 2013. One exception to this is with the “older” adults demographic.

For the first time, more than half (56%) of internet users ages 65 and older use Facebook. Yes: grandma and grandpa are now on Facebook.

We’ll forgive Ms. Perez for her ageist throwaway.  More:

In general, teens find Facebook “weird and annoying,” he said. Having mom and dad and now the grandparents, too, on Facebook, probably doesn’t help with that.

This all sounds about right to me.  My 2008 take on social media sites, specifically Facebook:

But there are a lot of lonely people out there.
… Most Baby Boomers don’t do virtual social networking because they actually go out and are social. They interact with real people at gatherings, parties, etc. They talk on the phone. They email friends … my guess is that the vast majority of Boomers aren't lonely or confused or need motivation. And even if I'm wrong, all these sites will wear thin soon. If you're lonely, then there's just so much 'social networking' you can do before it begins to reinforce your sad state - and makes you feel worse.

Most of the above still holds up.  What I didn’t foresee is Facebook becoming the generic virtual space for keeping up with friends from high school, college, work through the decades, etc.  These aren’t friends you necessarily hang out with now – and Facebook was originally a ‘here and now’ place for college kids.  How it’s transformed. 

My 2011 NYR is as solid today as it was then:

My New Year’s Resolution
No more scratching my head and being completely baffled by social media marketing experts telling me that consumers want to talk about products, have online conversations about toilet paper or whatever – and have even more conversations with the manufacturers of products. What an odd, insulated view of advertising and marketing.

And this:

03 October 2013
Facebook And Twitter Do Almost Nothing To Drive Sales

More from that TechCrunch piece:

… Twitter, unfortunately, is seeing declining engagement. “36% of Twitter users visit the site daily, but this actually represents a 10-point decrease from the 46% who did so in 2013,” states Pew.

No surprise to me.  My 2012 take on Tweets:

Twitter & Advertising
… “I don’t think the model is necessarily there yet.”  Meaning, a hundred-odd years after the birth of modern advertising, twenty-odd years after the birth of the Web – nobody can figure out how to advertise effectively with social media.  So now let’s concentrate on mobile devices. Mobile advertising will work once social media marketing gurus figure out what the hell they’re doing.

I don’t mind being right for the wrong reasons. Or wrong for the right reasons.

Just for fun:

My Unctuous Smartphone
By Chuck Nyren
huffington_post_logo1There was a movie I never saw about a guy falling in love with his talking phone. That won't be happening with me. I'm not even sure I like her.

23 December 2014


Time to wrap it up. And what better gift can I give than saving you hundreds of millions of dollars?

What’s the real value of social media marketing?
The news around social media is not good.  Facebook’s organic reach has tanked, people share news on Twitter and the jury is still out whether Pinterest actually offers an ROI…

The Great Unwatched
By David Segal
imageBy many estimates, more than half of online video ads are not seen, either because they are buried low on web pages or run in tiny, easily ignored video players on those pages, or run simultaneously with other ads. Vindico, an ad management platform company, deemed 57 percent of two billion video ads surveyed over two months to be “unviewable.”

Of course, NostraChuckus has been saying these same things for years:

Social Media - WOMM - Web Advertising

Most popular social media post this year:

30 September 2014
Social Media: A Sliver Of The Bigger Picture
… The mobile/social media soothsayers will have you believe that there is this unknown, magical mode of persuasion that has never been thought of before – and will reveal itself any day now.

If you believe that, I have a Blackberry in Brooklyn I want to sell you.

So I guess you can consider my gift as re-gifting.