18 February 2020

Another Dumb Article: Boomer Big Data

Echoing a previous post:

17 APRIL 2019
No News News & Fake News
I’m not linking to any more dumb articles…

It’s amazing how many data firms are out there. I have no idea why there is such an insatiable appetite for jumbles of numbers, slices of shaded pies, arrays of multi-colored lines going every which way.  Abstract art at its most incomprehensible.

Marketers specially love all the mystifying razzle-dazzle.

I read an article recently by someone who works at a big data firm.  The article made no sense.  Or the writer was so blinded by numbers, pies, and lines that it was impossible for this person to think intelligently.  Or the proofreader was on vacation. (I’ve found that most proofreaders nowadays are on permanent vacation.)

Let’s take a look at the first few sentences:

Baby boomers are the fastest-growing demographic in the United States…

Fastest growing demographic? Baby Boomers were born from 1946 to 1964. It is not a fast or slow-growing demographic. This person obviously thinks that people get old and magically morph into baby boomers. 

In 20 years, the population aged 55 and over will account for almost one-third of the U.S. population.

Well, that’s fascinating. But why the above sentence is in the paragraph and why it’s relevant to the article eludes me. Especially when followed by:

Unlike millennials, who are often burdened by student debt and the costs of supporting growing families, boomers have expendable income for in-store and online purchases.

I have no idea what any of the above means, or is trying to mean. Random facts and arbitrary time-frames are haphazardly commingled with jargon-laden gibberish.

Here are the facts:

Today, all baby boomers are over fifty-five years old. If you were born in 1964, you are fifty-five, fifty-six. Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996 (some sociology experts and demographic outfits assign slightly different years).

In twenty years, all of Gen X and even a handful of Millennials will be 55+.

What the hell does “unlike millennials” have to do with anything?

… After rereading this post, I’m even more confused. It’s difficult to unpack nonsense because unpacking nonsense often makes nonsense more nonsensical, if that makes any sense.

All I know is this: If I get any older, I’ll automatically become a member of the Silent Generation, and if I get really old, I’ll all of a sudden become a member of the WWII generation.

And if I live to be two-hundred and fifty, I’ll automatically become a Founding Father.

04 February 2020

Communities for Boomers

The elder-centric housing industry is about to explode every which way.

My tongue-in-cheek take on it:

03 December 2018
Where are old people going to live?
It used to be that old people lived wherever they lived – and that was that.

And I’ve written about this ad nauseam for over fifteen years.  A list of related posts:

Aging In Place & Universal Design

Something you can skim or skip:

Selling Universal Design To Baby Boomers/Aging In Place (PDF)
… What is ‘aging in place’?  Baby Boomers staying
put in their condos or houses for the rest of their lives. Others refer to aging in place as remodeling current residences with Universal Design as the blueprint. Still others use the term to describe Baby Boomers moving into condos or active adult communities not far from where they are now – this so they can still be near work, family, friends.

The powers-that-be are getting smart. They’re starting to target  middle-income boomers - not solely the better-offs everybody covets.

The latest collection of offerings (the article is dense, a bit convoluted – so again, skim):

6 Senior Living Providers to Watch in 2020
…. Baby boomers will come to the space demanding variety in care and amenities, but many may not be able to afford the existing, dominant private pay model of senior housing.

Boomer thinker and marketing maven Matt Thornhill has a new adult community project that fascinates me.  Add it to the list:

Cozy Home Community
… It’s a new type of rentable housing unit specifically designed and built for middle-income Boomers, or folks between 60 and 80.

Two bedrooms, two full baths, and an open floor plan with kitchen, dining and family room — all on one floor. Approximately 1,200 square feet, there’s plenty of space for two people to share.

Culled from my book Advertising to Baby Boomers:

Some Baby Boomer sociology experts predict that semi-retirement and retirement communities will naturally develop personalities based on shared interests.These could be gardening, motorcycles, vegetarianism, the arts, even a community where the shared interest might be financial speculation.

If correct, I can’t think of a better architectural template than Cozy Home Community.

17 January 2020

2020: The Year of Tech

A new year. A new decade. Nothing new.

But here’s my prediction: It’ll be The Year of Tech.

Keep Older Adults at Top of Mind, AARP CEO Urges Tech Industry
50-plus Americans spent $140 billion on technology in 2018, AARP report finds

OK, Boomers: CES 2020 was more about you than ever
January 15, 2020 by
Kevin C. Tofel

As always, any ‘tech’ for Baby Boomers is medical tech.  I’ve written about the silliness and shortsightedness of this ad nauseum:

13 December 2017
We’re always sick.
No matter what the product or service, when Mad Ave tries to ‘reach’ us we’re always sick.  Or something’s horribly wrong. (Sorry the commercial is missing. It probably got sick and died.)

15 October 2015
Baby Boomers Not Wearing Wearables

Never Leave The Hospital! Health Tech Wearables, Implanted Chips
By Chuck Nyren
huffington_post_logo1I'm having issues. I'm worried that the medical industry might want me to worry too much about my health. A little worry is good. But constant worry? It seems as if they want me to think of nothing else but my vital signs for the rest of my life.

2014-11-14-beany.jpgFinally Live The Life You've Always Wanted With Wearables!
By Chuck Nyren
… Along with Google Glasses, you'll also be wearing Google Nose and Google Mouth.

10 April 2013
AARP Is All New Redux: Part IV
(Entrepreneurs, VCs & Health Tech)

There are a dozen more posts. I’ll spare you.

What (almost) nobody talks about: Tech for older folks that has nothing to do with being sick (do any products exist?), ALL tech products that are marketed to everybody – but because of fonts and buttons and software design and just about everything else, these offerings can be difficult to use. 

Back to the beginning – the pull quote from my 2005 book:

“It will be the Baby Boomers who will be the first to pick and choose, to ignore or be seduced by leading-edge technology marketing. There’s a simple reason for this. We have the money to buy this stuff. Experts say we’ll continue to have the money for at least the next twenty years. Write us off at your own peril.”

I’ll leave you with this…

Everybody is picking their favorite whatevers of the last decade. Here’s my favorite video of the last decade:

23 December 2019

End Of Year Links: 2019

I’m just so tired. Probably of politics. So this last post of the year is going to be snooze-worthy. There’s no energy left.

Most popular post of the year:

Goings On About Town
… Ranking The Best Five Toilet Papers For Seniors

My favorite post of the year:

Reefer Madness Redux
… Along with my more-significant-than-I-am other, I finally made it into one of these new-fangled headshops. Quite a culture shock. No day-glo posters of Dylan, The Doors, or Hendrix.

Abbie Rosner’s follow-up post:

Two Ways Cannabis Companies Can Show Baby Boomers They Care
… Not all Baby Boomers are looking for medicinal tinctures …

Ronni Bennett gathered up all the best 2019 Christmas commercials from the U.K.:

British Christmas Adverts – Part 1

British Christmas Adverts – Part 2

I’m not that impressed this year. Of course, some are good. The problem is I’m sick of CGI. The simple, straightforward ones are more effective. 

Here’s one Ronni missed (0r rejected) that’s very sweet and touching. And cliched and maudlin. Just like Christmas spots are supposed to be:

That’s all. Happy Holidays. I’m gonna take a nap.

26 November 2019

People hate ads.

*The following post is about advertising to baby boomers.

A shocking research report featured in The New York Times:

The Advertising Industry Has a Problem: People Hate Ads
By Tiffany Hsu

… The advertising industry faces an “existential need for change,” according to a blunt report published on Monday by the research firm Forrester. Now the agencies must “disassemble what remains of their outmoded model” or risk “falling further into irrelevance,” the report concludes.
And there are various surveys from multiple sources to back this up:

Scary!  Except … I forgot to add the dates of these surveys:

Most of the above statistics are from The Mirror Makers by Stephen Fox:

So not much has changed. Or maybe a lot has changed.  Nowadays:
… As advertisers bombard consumers across platforms like Twitch, Facebook, television, billboards and more, consumers are trying to get away, signing up for ad blockers and subscription services …
The truth is messier. Few people admit to enjoying ads. In the olden days, advertising on radio and television was often tastelessly intertwined. Today (or maybe it was ten years ago, it’s hard to keep up) we would call this Madison & Vine or Product Placement or Native Advertising or Stealth Advertising. There were complaints, and things changed. By the late 1950s, you listened to/watched a program – then came the commercial breaks. This technique is still effective today.

Most people don’t mind and many even like advertising - if it’s positioned as such, doesn’t constantly bombard you.  I wrote about this years ago:
06 March 2012
Digital Distractions

Advertisers are getting wise to the drawbacks of marketing in the digital nest … The more people use smartphones, the less they’ll tolerate silly graphical doodads mucking up their small screens.
Back to the NYT article:
… Agencies must “disassemble what remains of their outmoded model” or risk “falling further into irrelevance,” the report concludes …

The “outmoded model” happened when the internet exploded – and the industry became greedy. With greed came all this and this and this:

Digital Ad Shenanigans
It’s been a bad week or so for online advertising foolishness and chicanery.

Black Ops Advertising by Mara Einstein
Rolling on the floor laughing  What a wacky virtual world we live in!  Streams of prose, pictures, videos, all not what they seem.  Alice in Wonderland, by comparison, is rather prosaic.

Follow this crazy guy if you want to know more:

The Ad Contrarian

*The link below is to a silly piece about advertising to baby boomers:

Should older people be allowed to change their age?
by Chuck Nyren
Nov 4 · 2 min read